tv U.S. Senate CSPAN September 21, 2012 12:00pm-5:00pm EDT
senate. those of you that were looking for the rest of the house committee hearing to the charges against representative maxine waters, we will have that when it resumes live on the website online at cspan.org. right now votes on the floor of the house that has caused the recess in that hearing. we take you live now to the floor of the senate where we expect senators to continue to debate on a six month federal spending. live coverage now here on c-span2. the presiding officer: the senate will come to order. the chaplain, dr. barry black, will lead the senate in prayer. the chaplain: let us pray.
almighty and everlasting god, we praise your name for all those who answer the call to serve you and country. we confess that we often pay honor to people who labored for liberty long ago, but we sometimes neglect to appreciate those who sacrifice for freedom today. forgive us when we resist those in our own time and in our own associations, who, for our own good and for the good of the nation, challenge our rigid ideas of thought and patterns of action. make our lawmakers, this day,
open to greater creativity in their convictions, so that they may become partners with you in these challenging times by paying the price for unity. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the presiding officer: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to the flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the presiding officer: the clerk will read a communication to the senate. the clerk: washington, d.c, september 21, 2012.
to the senate: under the provisions of rule 1, paragraph 3, of the standing rules of the senate, i hereby appoint the honorable richard blumenthal, a senator from the state of connecticut, to perform the duties of the chair. signed: daniel k. inouye, president pro tempore. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader smed. mr. reid: i had move to proceed to calendar number 504. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: motion to proceed to calendar number 504, s. 3525, a bill to protect and enhance opportunities for recreational hunting, fish, and shooting and for other purposes. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: the next hour will be equally divided between the two leader leaders who are their designees. thas i think we should know andi will be happy to restate it, the
next roll call vote will occur at about 1:00 a.m. this morning, an hour after we come in. i'm, of course, hopeful that we can work something out to complete our work. either do it all tonight, tomorrow, or if that doesn't work out, as you know, mr. president, under the rules of the senate, we would have that vote at 1:00 a.m. and we'd have another vote on the c.r., final passage of that would be sunday morning around 7:30-8:00 in the morning. and then that would be immediately followed by the hope to the sportsmen's package. we continue to have discussions. we'll work to see if we can schedule these votes at a more convenient time for senators. everyone should know that we should finish by sunday morning. we're not going to go into next week. s. 3607 is at the desk and due for a second reading. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the title of the
bill for the second time. the clerk: s. 3607, a bill to approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. mr. reid: i would object to any further consideration with regard to this. the presiding officer: the objection having been heard, the bill will be placed on the calendar. mr. reid: mr. president, over the past week, i've listened to my republican colleagues come here to the floor and lament how little the senate has accomplished in the 112th congress. i, above all, share that concern, but in fact it is a wonder we've gotten anything done at all considering the lack of cooperation democrats have gotten from republican colleagues. in my time as the majority leader, i've faced 382 republican filibusters. that's 381 more filibusters than
lyndon johnson faced during his six years as majority leader. time and time again, my republican colleagues have stalled or blocked perfectly good pieces of legislation to score points with the tea party, and they've done nothing but hurt the middle class in this process. even the most noncontroverscontl consensus matters, items that would have passed by unanimous consent in the past, they've obstructed or stalled. take, for example, mr. president, the bipartisan sportsmen's bill. the junior senator from montana has assembled a broad package -- that's senator tester -- to support sportsmen across the country. just so everyone understands, i am not making this up, mr. president. there's more than 50 groups -- 50 organizations in this country who support this legislation.
it's a wide range of organizations. the national rifle association, ducks unlimited, american sports fishing association, which by the way has more than 2 million members; boon and crockett club, national shooting sports foundation, theodore roosevelt nature conservationship. if you put labels on these organizations i've mentioned, it goes from the more conservative many would say -- the national rifle association -- to the more progressive, trout unlimited. so i would ask unanimous consent that these organizations that i have referred to the ten plus the others, be made part of the record. the presiding officer: without objection.
mr. reid: mr. president, this measure combines about 20 bills important to the sportsmen's community, bills that would promote hunting, fishing, and recreation. they would foster habitat conservation through voluntary programs. more than 50 national sportsmen conservation groups support this bill unequivocally. this legislation should be passed like that. as i indicated yesterday, i've read hill papers here, capitol hill papers, where republican senators say what a great piece of legislation, i'll vote for it. but we should pass this in a matter of seconds. we shouldn't be spending all this time on it. but it's one of those things where there shouldn't be a fight and there has been a fight. so i would hope that as we try to get back to working on campaigns and doing the work
things we have to do at home that we could move along and get this done. in the process, though, we're holding up a the although of other things. i hope -- i'm hopeful we can get something done on the iran containment resolution, which is something that lindsey graham, senator lieberman, and many others -- senator menendez -- have pushed very hard to get this dofnlt i hope we can confirm our ambassadors to iraq and afghanistan, and the continuing resolution to fund the government for six months. republicans say this congress has been unproductive. but if republicans want to know why it's been unproductive, they should take a look in the mirror. benjamin franklin once said, "well-done is better than well-said." close quote. "well-done is better and well-said." so it is time republicans stopped talking about how much they wanted to get things done and started working with us to actually get things done.
the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: yesterday dozens of republican senators came to the senate floor one after the other to register their complete frustration with the way democrats are running this place. never before -- never -- have a president and a majority party in the senate done so little to address challenges as great as the ones our nation faces right now. never. i mean, we've got a $16 trillion debt, and they haven't bothered to put together a budget in three years. they haven't passed a single appropriations bill. they haven't passed the defense authorization bill, for the first time in a half a century. these things are usually about as standard as turning the lights on. they haven't done any of them. it's a disgrace.
think about it. the middle east is in turmoil, we're fighting a war in afghanistan and against al qaeda, and they can't even bother to pass the defense authorization bill? so we're fed up with the way this place is being run. no legislation, no amendments, no action on taxes, no action on defense cuts, nothing. and now we're at it again. all republicans want to do is extend government funding for a few months and the majority leader won't even do that unless he can squeeze in yet another political vote. democrats have treated the senate floor like an extension of the obama campaign, treated the senate floor like an extension of the obama campaign for two years -- for two years. now they're holding the c.r. hostage for no other reason than
to help one of their incumbents on the campaign trail. now we're ready to vote on three bills. we've got responsibilities to meet. let's meet them and leave the politics of the campaign trail where it belongs. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership is reserved. under the previous order, the following hour will be equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees with the majority controlling the first half. the senator from illinois. mr. durbin: mr. president, i listened to the statement made on the floor by the republican leader, and it was a statement similar to one that was made yesterday. i responded to it yesterday, and i would like to make a r re-- response today. i am disappointed that this session of congress has been so unproductive, but i know the reason why.
it isn't for lack of effort. we have tried to bring to the floor time and time and time again legislation to help create more jobs in america, create a more positive business climate, create more consumer confidence in middle-income families, and we have consistently run into the same problem over and over again. you see, mr. president, in the last six years since harry reid of nevada has been the majority leader on the democratic side, the republicans have created 382 filibusters -- 382. how does this compare with previous years? there's no comparison. we have never, ever in the history of the united states senate run into such a consistent strategy of obstruction by one party in the senate. it was no surprise, because the senator from kentucky, who just
spoke, announced at the beginning four years ago exactly what his strategy would be. he said, his number-one goal was to make sure that barack obama was a one-term president. now, mr. president, i've served in the house and the senate with republican presidents, and certainly i supported their opponents whenever they ran for election, but i felt a moral and civic obligation to do my best to work with those presidents, to achieve some things for this country. senator, i'd say that president george w. bush is a classic example. he and i saw the world so differently, and yet when it came to specific issues, i was prepared to stand up and not only praise his work but join him in trying to pass important legislation. president george w. bush may not be remembered for this, but he should be. he spoke out in favor of immigration reform.
when is the last time you heard a republican leader speak about immigration reform? but george w. bush understood it and i admired him for it and compliment him for it, as i do today. he said the world should stand up in helping to eradicate hiv-aids. i supported him. he was right to do it. president george w. bush stood up after 9/11 and remiewndzed america, we are not at with aer with people of the muslim religion. george w. bush told us, it is a good and peaceful religion. those who would corrupt it, extremists in the name of islam are not a credit to that religion and don't reflect it. i admired him for it at a time america was so angry over 9/11 and the loss of all those innocent lives, he showed real leadership. what a contrast with those who come to the floor of the house and senate and say our
number-one goal is to make sure this president fails no matter what he tries. that's not good for america. and that is one of the reasons why we have been as unproductive as we have been. but there have been exceptions. let me tell you some of those exceptions. we passed the violence against women act, an important piece of legislation. go to a domestic violence shelter. i'm sure you did, mr. president. as attorney general in the state of connecticut and as unions senator. as i did and sat across the table from a victim of domestic violence. this poor woman with two black eyes crying her heart out saying i just had to get out of that house. go to a domestic violence center in little village or in pillson in the city of chicago where immigrant women come in holding their children close by for fear that that drunken husband is going to take another swing at them or at her.
and tell me that we couldn't agree, democrats and republicans, to put the resources together to protect those people. well, we passed it over here. passed it in the senate. bipartisan vote. and it died in the house of representatives. same thing happened on important legislation like transportation. that used to be the easiest bill to pass. who in the world elected to the house and senate does not want to see better highways and bridges and runways and ports across america? we know it's key to our economic development. and we passed it on a bipartisan basis. what happened? it died in the united states house of representatives. they ended up sending us a shell of a bill so we could go to conference and finally come up with something. and then the farm bill. this one troubles me. mr. president, i know connecticut has some farmers. we have a few more in illinois. and my farmers have been through a pretty tough time of it. this summer has been exceptional when it comes to weather.
every -- virtually every county in my state has been declared a disaster area because of drought. it used to be routine on the fourth of july to have shoulder high corn and to watch in august as it just grew even more and was ready for harvest. it was a magnificent scene. i've seen every year of my life. this year it was a sad scene. in too many places in illinois. our farmers many of them will get through, 80% of them bought crop insurance but they want to know what the farm bill is going to be next year so they can get ready. we passed a bipartisan farm bill in the senate. senator debbie stabenow of michigan, what a great example of leadership. she not only put a good farm bill together, she brought pat roberts, a republican from kansas on her committee with her to the floor and passed it with 64 votes, bipartisan bill. and it not only wrote the farm programs for the next five yee,
it saved $23 billion, cut it off the deficit. pretty good work. proud of her. so what happened to that important bill that we sent to the house of representatives three months ago? it died. the house announced this week when were unable to pass a farm bill. do you know why? for the same reason they've been unable to pass major legislation through the course of the last two years. they insist it be passed only with republican votes. two of the bills i mentioned, transportation and farm bill, have traditionally been the most bipartisan bills to come to the congress. why? because we all share a concern about the infrastructure of america and the agricultural sector of america. democrats and republicans. but those bills have died in the house of representatives. when the republican senate leader comes to the floor and talks about how unproductive we've been, he fails to mention 382 republican filibusters, an
all-time record of obstruction. he fails to mention his promise to make sure that his guiding principle will be the defeat of this incumbent president and he fails to mention that graveyard of important legislation across the rotunda in the u.s. house of representatives. that is the reality. and the reality is a troubling one. yesterday i did satellite radio feeds back to illinois and television feeds. and a number of the reporters said what a can we do about it? he said you get your chance november 6. decide. decide what you want. decide if you want to send democrats and republicans to this capitol with an awesome responsibility and also with a spirit of consensus and cooperation. we've had one senate candidate in the midwest who announced i'm not going to compromise with anybody when i get to washington. i hope the people of indiana remember that on november 6. if that's what they want, that's what they'll get. but i sense the american people
want more from us. they want us to work together. and there have been instances, examples where that's happened. president obama created a deficit commission called the simpson-bowles commission, 18 people appointed to it, senator harry rid asked -- reid asked me to join the commission and i did. i didn't think much would come of it, to be shall to be honest. there have been a lot of commissions of. they spend taxpayers' dollars and generate reports which are quickly examiner gotten. this was an exception simply because erskine bowles and alan simpson came together and did an can extraordinarily good job. we spent a year and realizing this deficit is unsustainable and unacceptable. we borrow 40 cents for every dollar we spend in this town. whether we're spending it on food stamps, on missiles, on foreign aid, on agricultural programs, we borrow 40 cents of it.
and who is our number-one creditor in the world? the same nation that is our number-one competitor in the world, china. how about that? we're borrowing money from china and borrowing that money, of course, is at the expense of interest payments which continue to grow because of the cost we are faced with across the board. so we talked in the simpson-bowles commission about coming up with way to reduce the deficit in a responsible fashion. i was certain when i walked in the door we weren't going to get much done there and i was even certain i wasn't going to vote for it because i thought there were some issues here i can't see my way through. but i came to a different conclusion. i voted yes on a simpson-bowles bipartisan deficit commission. and out of the six senators who sat on the commission, three democrats and three republicans, five of us voted yes. we believe that it showed the path to a responsible reduction of the deficit.
well, it didn't go any further, unfortunately. because the commission didn't have 14 votes which it needed, and it didn't have the power of law which it needed. it turns out that the original legislation creating the commission had failed on the floor of the senate when seven republicans switched their votes and voted against it after cosponsoring it they voted against it. but thank goodness the ideas behind simpson-bowles are still alive and continue to be alive. we've continued to meet. we've had democrat and republican senators meeting almost nonstop for a long time, trying to push forward this concept of reducing the deficit in a responsible way while still growing our economy and creating jobs. we're going to have our chance soon to put on the table whatever we can come up with. right after the election, december 31 we face what's known as the cliff. the cliff at that point many
important pieces of legislation and laws will expire, and automatic spending cuts go in place. it's a pretty serious outcome. and this is our chance to come up with a bipartisan answer to it. we can't get to it until after the election, which i think is understandable. such a highly charged political atmosphere until november 6. but after the election, it's really a test, a test of the house and senate as to whether democrats and republicans can put the campaign behind them and work together to solve some of this nation's problems. the path that simpson-bowles laid out is pretty direct one and a pretty obvious one. we need to do two things to reduce our deficit. we need more revenue, and we need to reduce spending. those are the two things that reduce the deficit. i think we can do that. i think we can achieve that in a fair way and i've tried to work and continue to work toward that goal. i would say that despite the statement of the republican
leader just a few minutes ago, i'm more hopeful, even for the rest of this session. if we can put these filibusters behind us for a moment, if we can come to the floor and work together, i think we can achieve something. we did with the farm bill. we did with the transportation bill. we did with the violence against women act and we did with proposal reform. bipartisan bills, important bills that passed the senate and died in the house. i hope if we show some leadership over here, the house will follow in a bipartisan fashion, to deal with these same issues. we know we have major problems facing us in this country, problems that won't be resolved unless we work together. mr. president, i'd also like to at this point at a separate place with unanimous consent, a intrat place in the record --. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. durbin: i'd like to make a statement about another issue which relates directly to the performance of congress and what's going on in american politics today. across the street the united
states supreme court reached a decision known as citizens united. it was a decision which had a dramatic impact on the way campaigns are waged in america. we've seen an unprecedented, unprecedented influence buying by corporations and individuals, wealthy individuals, in a way we've never seen in the history of the united states. there are about 16 or 17 multimillionaires who are investing millions and millions of dollars, hundreds of millions of dollars into our election process. same thing holds true for major corporations. let me tell you some of the numbers to compare. in the 2006 congressional midterm elections outside groups spent $70 million to complu flu the result. -- influence the result. four years later, 2010, outside groups raised the $70 million figure to $294 million.
four times the amount that they spent in 2006. in the current presidential election cycle, outside special interest groups and wealthy individuals have already broken the record of 2010. these outside groups and these aren't the campaigns of any candidates or even political parties, have already spent with seven weeks to go, $350 million, breaking all records for outside money. how is this money being spent? turn on your television in a battleground state and try to get around the television ads. they've spent $50 million more than they did in 2008, and we are just entering the end of this campaign, and the expenditures will skyrocket. if there was ever any doubt that the citizens united decision would lead to a flood of campaign cash from wealthy individuals and corporations, we have our answer. at the end of 2010, there were
84 active super pac's. two years later there are now 657 super pac's prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars to persuade voters. now, the only thing worse than this unprecedented amount of money from special interest groups and wealthy individuals, flooding our airwaves, is the fact that ordinary americans often have no idea where this money is coming from. in 2006, only 1% of owl awl outside -- all outside spending came from secret donors. in 2010 after sense united and the rise of super pac's, secret donors rocketed to 46% of the outside spending on campaigns. which means when you see the ad on television you have no idea generally in half the cases at least who is paying for it. as i've said before, these are not just super pac's, these are outside groups pouring money into elections. they're supersecret pac's in many instances because the
public has shockingly little information about the sources of the money. these supersecret pac's and the wealthy individuals and corporations behind them are drowning out the voices of average citizens and many times the voices of the candidates themselves. our representative democracy values transparency, participation and an open debate. unfortunately, nonpartisan reports indicate that as the amount of money flooding into campaigns increases, core democratic principles are diminished. the little that we have been able to learn about the major donors to these super pac's is very disturbing. 17% of all funds raised by super pac's came from nonprofit businesses. it's safe to say -- pardon me, for-profit businesses. it's safe to say their primary goal is not advancing public interest but rather, enhancing their corporate bottom line. 80% of funds given to super
pac's during this presidential election, 80% of all the $350 million that i mentioned, came from 196 people. 196 people who want to control our campaign process. moreover, there's an ultraelite club of 22 millionaires and billionaires that provided half of all super pac money being spent in this presidential election. 22 americans. i -- i don't begrudge anyone their success in life or business. i applaud it. the voices of wealthy individuals and special interests should be heard. they are an important part of our country and need a seat at the policy-making table. their voices, however, are not the only voices and opinions that matter. they should not occupy every seat at the policy-making table or buy control of what's served
on that table. a las vegas casino magnet, sheldon addle isn't addelson, me achieved laudable business success but his economic success does not entitled him to use his virtually unlimited resources and impose his political will and political agenda on america. unfortunately, after the citizens united case, that is exactly what they are trying to to. the las vegas casino magnet is reportedly the most generous super pasuper pac donor. mr. addleson said he is now going to give to the republican nominee for president. a lot of money and a lot of influence and probably more.
but for this particular super pac donor, that $36 million contribution, when you look at his wealth, is the equivalent to $168 from the average american. it turns the political debate and i fear the outcome of many elections are not being set by 314 million americans whose lives, jobs, safety, and health are impacted by the decisions of the people they elect. instead, 22 wealthy individuals pouring money into super pac's that have outsized influence on the terming' terms of our politl debate. our fill low americans may not know the intricate details of campaign finance laws but they know their voices are being drowned out by these special interests and wealthy individuals and many people are losing confidence in this democracy as a result. according to a recent survey, three out of four americans believe that corruption has increased over the last three years.
well, in some part, we can thank the citizens united decision for that. the time to fix our broken campaign finance system is now. now, mr. president, i'm a realist. i understand that most americans view this flood of spending by special interest groups and wealthy individuals on political campaigns the same way they view gangland slayings. let them shoot one another at much as they want. as long as the bullets don't hit us, as long as we don't have to watch, let them have their fun. but if our political process is stolen away from the average american, even the average candidate, by these special interest groups and wealthy individuals, it will diminish our democracy. there is no question. so here's and idea, one that i have been pushing for for a long time i introduced the fair elections now act which would create a public financing system that would free candidates from the dangerous reliance on super
pac's once and for all. under fair elections, viable candidates are qualified for fair elections programs would raise campaign funds in small amounts from individual donors -- small amounts. once they've raised a certain threshold number of small donations, they can receive matching funds and grants sufficient to run a competitive campaign. fair elections would fundamentally reform our broken system and put the average citizens back in control of their elections and their country. i wonder what the american people would think of shorter campaigns, directed to the issues, actual debates between the candidates? would they miss us if they didn't see all those ads on television in i don't thintell-? the supreme court got it wrong on citizens united. but this bill would require super pac's and other big spenders to disclose all donors who give $10,000 or more to
influence an election. what is wrong with transparency and disclosur disclosure when io our democratic process? i chaired the subcommittee on the constitution, civil rights, and human rights. i would tell you that when it comes to constitutional amendments, i have been pretty picky as a member of the house and senate. i think the constitution, which i've sworn to uphold and defending as a member of the senate and the house, is an extraordinary document. i am not so bold or big-hheaded to think that i have got a great idea that ought to be parked right in the middle of that fan stay-- of that fantastic and sad document. and i have been skeptical over the years. i don't believe we should take a roller brush to a rembrandt. it is an amazing work of political art and we should take care not to amend it except in the most extraordinary situations. during the most recent hearing i chaired on the impact of citizens united, our
subcommittee received 1,959,000 americans, almost two million americans. these americans support a constitutional amendment that would stop the pernicious influence of secret, corporate, and special interest money. i see on the floor senator udall of new mexico, who's been a leader on this issue, on this constitutional amendment. as i've said, i am very selective in the constitutional amendments that i'll add my name to. i've joined him because i think he is right. citizens united has corrupted this political process. the likelihood that congress can change it is a long shot. and if it's as going to be changed, it needs to be changed in a meaningful way so that we can reclaim our political process for the people of this country and take it away from the 22 mult imillionaires and billionaires who are trying to take control of this political process. i stand with these 2 million
americans and i -- i stand with these 22 million americans. this is awillthis will be the le the senate adjourns. america is not a better and stronger nation when we give up our political process to the wealthy and politically articulate. the strength of america is when every person has a voice and a vote and they're not going to be overshadowed or outdistanced because of someone who happens to be very wealthy and very successful and wants to buy their way into our political system. mr. president, i yield the flo floor. the presiding officer: the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: thank you, mr. president. let me just say, before my colleague, senator durbin, leaves the floor, that this whole issue, as he has pointed out, of campaign finance is a
pressing issue. it is one that is before us now and we're seeing it play out in the campaign, and i'm sure at the end of this campaign that citizens across this country are going to demand reform, they're going to demand change. he's outlined several pieces of legislation here that i think really do that. and this constitutional amendment is one. the disclose act, the piece of legislation that he has authored and fought forks i think both in the house and the senate, i think really bring transparency to the process. they bring disclosure to the process and we need do it and so i real appreciate his leadership on this and look forward to working with him very closely on this issue, as we get into the next congress. thank you. mr. president, i rise today to pay tribute to a gentleman by the name of russell train.
on monday of this we, ou week, r nation lost a greater friend. i was saddened to learn of the passing of russell train. he was a true pioneer in the history of environmental protection. he was a part of that great generation of bipartisan leaders, that remarkable group of men and women, democrats and republicans, who put the environment center stage, who champ oned conservation -- who championed conservation. my father, who knew and admired uruss, was also a part of that queegeneration. they leave very big shoes to fill. they are legacy is monumental. russ train's life parallels so much of the history of the environmental movement of this country. because he was part of that history, because he did so much to make it happen. in is th 1965 when he was 45, rs left his position as u.s. tax court judge, he decided to
devote himself full-time to conservation and became president of the conservation foundation. his mid-life career change may have been a losse loss for the x court but a huge gain for the environment. brilliant, committed, he dedicated the rest of his life to the environment. along with the author of "silent spring" russ helped raise environmental issues. he was the first chairman of the white house council on environmental quality from 1970 to 1973. he was instrumental in the creation of the environmental protection agency and headed it from 1973 to 1977. during those years, he oversaw landmark legislation -- the
cleaair act, the clean water, the endangered species act, the toxic substances control act. all bore the imprint of russell train. perhaps his most lasting achievement was the national environmental policy act in 1970. he helped see that groundbreaking legislation through the nixon white house and through congress. for over 40 years now, nepa has required federal agencies to prepare environmental impact statements for any major projects. nepa is justly regarded as the foundation for u.s. environmental protections. but what began as a bipartisan triumph was later subject to partisan divide. while in the house in 2005, i served as the ranking member of a task force whose stated purpose was to review and improve nepa. but there were those who wanted to destroy it. with one swift blow or by 1,000
cuts, but destroy it all the same. many of us fought very hard not to let that happen. as i said at that time, where critics saw only day, nepa was then and is now an antidote to the potential arrogance of government power. it listens to the community. it addressings opposition early on and in the long run minimizes conflict and protects the environment. it trusts the american people to take part in managing their public resources. and it remains one of u russell train's greatest legacies. russ himself stated it best at the 40th anniversary of nepa. he said then that "nepa is america's most imitated environmental legislation around the globe. with a we launched in 1970 has
become a contribution to the planet, not less than to our citizenry. nepa's legacy is that which the people know has great value to a government that seeks their knowledge and takes it seriously." after leaving the government, russell led the u.s. branch of the world wildlife fund for many years, and he did so with his usual passion and commitment. always engaged, always pragmatic and reasonable, but ever the visionary for a better world. in 1991 president bush awarded russ the presidential medal of freedom. russell train was a remarkable man. jill and i have been honored to call him and his wonderful wife our friends. we extend our sincere condolences to his wife & his children and hope that they will take comfort in knowing that the world is a better place for russell's life and work. and i understand that senator
paul was going to speak, but if i don't see him here at this moment, i'm going to go ahead anand start. i have several other comments on a subject, and i would ask that they be at a separate place in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: on january 16, president taft signed the proclamation making new mexico the 47th state. and so it is with great pride that i join senator bingaman in introducing this resolution recognizing the centennial anniversary of our state. for those of us who are blessed to call new mexico home, we are imprinted by its remarkable history. and it's yo awesome beauty. 100 years ago the population of new mexico was 327,000 people. now it's over 2 million. but the mix of native american,
hispanic, and european traditions have long been a part of our state. new mexico is a land of deep roots, and we are enriched by this mosaic of culture. it is -- it has informed our history, our art, and our sense of who we are as a people. our state is rightly called the land of enchantment. it is also a land of courage, from the civil war to teddy roosevelt's rough riders, from the navajo code talkers to baton and corregidor. to the brave 34eu78 who served in iraq and afghanistan. when our nation is called, new mexico has always stood ready to answer that call. the story of new mexico is a long and proud one. it goes back well over 10,000 years to the clovis people. it goes back to sanity
afaye --, santa fe, founded in 1610, the oldest capital city in the united states. in 1920, route 66 connected new mexico to california and the midwest midwest. this and other interstate projects that followed brought jobs and more people to our state and today we need a new commitment to investing in the infrastructure that is essential to renewed prosperity. in the 20's and 30's, new mexico was part of an oil boom that fueled the rest of the nation and today we are on the cutting edge of clean energy technology helping to reduce our nation's dependence on foreign oil. and in the 1940's and 1950's, sandia and los alamos national labs became legendary centers of scientific innovation and research. today they continue to play a vital role in our nation's security and also our state is promoting stem education, science, technology, engineering and math so that our
graduates can get good jobs, so that they can compete in a global economy. how we address these issues will shape the next 100 years in our state, but i'm sure of one thing: we have a blend of cultures and backgrounds like nowhere else. it has helped bring us where we are today. it will help take us from we need to go tomorrow. the vitality and creativity of our people is as strong as ever. working together, we will continue to meet the challenges of our state and our nation. and this year of our centennial, we look back to our unique history and we look forward to a bright future. and i thank -- i thank the senator, senator paul, for allowing me to finish my statement. i appreciate very much your courtesies and with that i yield the floor. mr. paul: mr. president? the presiding officer: the
senator from kentucky. mr. paul: i'm going to tell you the story today of a love affair it's a story that is a steamy one, it's a story that of illicit behavior, of treachery, and of gluttony. it's a story that involves intrigue and deception. it's a story of unintended consequences, and it's a story of anger and violence. it is the story of american foreign aid. joseph mukendi never sleeps at home anymore. his sleep is interrupted by dreams. he feels unsafe even a continent away from his attackers. mkendi was arrested at home one night. he was taken to an underground cell at camp congolo in zaire. the secret police of mow mobutu
stretched him out on the floor and he was beaten with a large stick with nails protruding from the end. mobutu received billions of dollars in foreign aid from our country. over his 30-year bloody dictatorship he received billions of your dollars. as his people starved, his wife went to europe, spent millions of dollars on spending sprees. zaire has very little running water and sporadic electricity. it rotted under mow mobutu's rue yet he received billions of american dollars. mowmobutu toll the lion's mascaa of this. he became one of the richest men in the world. enough was stenholmen that is wealth was estimated in the bstles. they called his wife gucci. her shoe collection rivaled imelda marcos'. she was capable of spending a
million dollars in one day in europe. john karlibon fell out of mobutu's favor. he was accused of trying to seduce the first lady. many believe his only crime was he was mentioned in the foreign press as a possible successor to mobutu. he was subjected to physical and electric kerryure to the gentals, too -- general itals, too her isk to repeat. the administration of jimmy carter continued the steady flow of foreign aid. for foreign aid is a bipartisan project. there is a consensus in the united states and in the senate, we must send it no matter what the behavior of the recipients. not only did our leaders turn a blind eye to mobutu's graft and human rights abuses they bestowed on him inexplicable
personal friend. he was known as a personal friend of the first president bush and vacationed as his residence. when mobutu stopped in europe, he would come, early in his reign he would come by with a louis vitton bag and get $5,000 in cash. towards the end he was getting $500 billion -- $500,000 in cash. one of his residences was in switzerland. he even had his own brandy being made at your expense. it's sad to contemplate with despots and dictators credit have done and are doing to their people. it's sadder still to realize that they're being subsidized in this horrific behavior by your own, and it continues. we're having a debate now over foreign aid because they still want to send more. many people think the answer is to send more, maybe they'll
behavior better if they get more of your money. apologists for foreign aid don't again den that foreign aid has often been stolen by corrupt leaders and there's evidence that the humanitarian outcomes are scant and don't occur. nevertheless, the advocates of foreign aid justify the continuing aid with the argument that we must often choose the lesser of two evils. as many have pointed out the lesser of two evils is still evil. throughout the cold war the perceived threat of soviet expansionism clouded the mind thought of many leaders. american leaders would pick one dictator over another if he or she were a pro-american dictator. we didn't care what he was doing to his people. we durnd a blind eye. we gave money to dictators from saddam hussein who received billions of your dollars to the
mujahideen, who were radical jihadists but at the time we didn't mind if you were a radical jihadist if you were our radical jihadist because they were opposing the soviet union. but the mujahideen eventually became the taliban who are now our enemies. we despise jihad now and fight against radical islamic jihad but at one time we subsidized jihad. in fact, there were several weapons left over from the time period when we were giving weapons to the mujahideen. we subsidized qadhafi before we fought qadhafi. we gave him foreign aid. he was our friend. in the year proceeding his overthrow there were senators from this body speaking with qadhafi's family about sending more money to qadhafi. where does the insanity end? u.s. foreign aid has continued to flow, despite a long string of abuses well known to most of
those dispensing the aid. they simply turn a blind eye. except for libya, egypt, and tunisia, where many are saying let's send them money to secularists, now there's a question whether some of that money may be going to radical islamists. with the end of the cold war some were finally cut off. mobutu who i mentioned who comied mr. reid: these atrocious aspects of -- who committed these atrocious aspects of torture. mr. paul: but after 30 years of torturing his own money and stealing everyone blind. foreign aid from developed countries in 2006 totaled $100 billion a year. over the past 50 years, we've given $2 trillion to developed countries in foreign aid. over the past 42 years, easterly states that $568 billion that has flowed to
africa, that the per capita growth in income in africa has been flat. in fact, some countries like glimb what abouty where miew gab way was in charge for several decades, the growth rate has been negative. those who say i simply want to help people, help poor people around the world by sending them money, it is stolen by their leaders, doesn't get to the poor people, and besides you may have heard, we're a trillion dollars short in our budget here. how are we sending money overseas? some academics have argued with the arab spring the democracies will require even more foreign aid. hillary clinton is asking for more money to go to egypt. as they burn our flag, as the hordes gather by the tens. thousands she's asking to send egypt more money. there were no egyptian policemen or soldiers whod some up -- showed up when our embassy was
attacked and hillary clinton is asking for more money to go to egypt. according to coyne and ryan, the world's worst dictators have received $105 billion under the guise of official developmental assistance. instead of helping the poor, the assistance is aiding the ability of the dictators to remain in power. in fact, it keeps them in power long enough that it inflames the populace that we have to go back in because of war because the populace is so inflamed against the dictator that we've propped up against popular rule. some academics argue that emerging democracies will require more aid. professors bruce de mest every quit argues that democracy will make the price higher. democracy in egypt comes at a big price for u.s. voters. good or a bad is up to the observer but it will be costly, no doubt. the professor's argument is that
democracy is messy and costs more to subsidize because the ballot box gives voice to minorities that the dictators would silence or imprison. i think the real question, immessage -- image you have to have in your mind is when you see 10,000 people outside the embassy in pakistan burning the u.s. flag, can you imagine that we would send them more money? can you imagine that we would not ask for restrictions on this money? i've been asking for six weeks to place restrictions on foreign aid. i'm not even asking to end it, although i would. i'm asking simply to place restrictions on it. and you watch this vote. if i get the vote, you watch. the vast majority of the senate is going to vote for unlimited, unrestricted foreign aid. i will probably lose this vote. but if you ask your friends, if you go home and ask your friends should we be sending money to countries that disrespect us,
to countries that burn our flag? i think you'll find 80% to 90% of the american people wouldn't send another penny. but that may also be why congress has about a 10% approval rating. they don't get it. 90% of the folks up here are going to vote to continue sending your money with no restrictions to countries that burn your flag and disrespect you. is it any wonder that only 10% of america approves of congress? in fact, many people claim to be conservatives are for foreign aid. big government conservative advocates such as john guardiano try to couch their support in feigned opposition. he says i don't like foreign aid any more than the next conservative, most foreign aid is probably economically wasteful and counterproductive but the point of foreign aid is not economics, it's geopolitics and that's what most will admit around here. it is intended to shape a
recipient country's behavior and quite literally buy american influence. and to his mind, he says it does that. but if foreign aid is meant to shape the country's behavior, advocates have a lot of explaining to do. from mow mobutu to mogaba from m hussein to qadhafi, to the current egypt, to the current pakistan that is holding a gentleman who helped us get bin laden, to the current pakistan that seemed to somehow let bin laden live for seven years in their midst with no knowledge that he was there. they have some explaining to do. and those who advocate foreign aid saying it's shaping the behavior of these countries, they have some explaining to do because it doesn't appear as if these countries respect america, doesn't appear as if they even like us. and it also doesn't appear that if we want to be our allies that
they're acting like it. that's all i'm asking. if you want to be an ally of our country, act like it. if you want to receive and cash an american check, you need to act like our ally at the very least. there's some question about whether the aid works when it's sent for poverty or humanitarian purposes. doug bandeau argues that foreign aid encourages poverty and starvation because african nations use displays of poverty and starvation to seek more aid. why get rid of your problem if that's what you're showing the world you have to get more aid? we don't seem to care about results because we continue to give it to some of these dictators for decades who produce no results and we know we're stealing the money. there is a moral hazard problem surrounding foreign aid. it is contended that aid
allocation may actually encourage policy. as the damaging policies create misery, the more likely the donors are to grant more aid. herb warlen underlines that foreign aid is undermined by tariffs and subsidies including ads 3 billion subsidy lavished on 25,000 cotton farmers. america is able to export corn at two-thirds of the cost of the production making it impossible for african farmers to compete. so our trade policy makes it harder for african countries to become self-sufficient. peanuts are protected by a tariff up to 164%, thereby making africa's peanut-producing nations such as uganda, even more dependent on aid. it is not just rich people in poor countries getting foreign aid. we also continue to ship your dollars to rich countries. michael tenet reports,
"according to a report from the congressional research service in fiscal year 2010, the united states' top creditor nations received millions of dollars in aid." so the countries we're borrowing money from, we're sending them foreign aid. china, to whom we owe over $1 trillion, still gets $27 million in aid. russia, who we owe $127 billion, still gets $71 million in aid. to add insult to injury, china gets economic development assistance from the united states taxpayer. it just amazes me, but you mark my words -- you listen to the debate, and you watch the vote today, the vast majority don't want any change to foreign aid other than that they would increase it. if we're not getting the behavior we want, they would increase it. hillary clinton is on capitol
hill today asking to increase aid to egypt, not to put restrictions on the aid, to increase it. we currently do have some restrictions on aid to egypt. hillary clinton has waived those and said they're doing fine. when the more radars, when the horror came to the embassy in egypt last week, there was a phone call made to our embassy saying the mob is coming but no soldiers came, no one came to protect our embase. in the civilized world, protecting a nation, the host nation, protecting the guest nation's embassy, is of primary concern. it is something that every nation, every civilized nation is expected to do. in the case of egypt, no one came. we were lucky we escaped deaths in egypt. we weren't so lucky in libya. the report on china that found out that we were borrowing money and then giving it -- giving
foreign aid to countries that we borrow from was commissioned by senator tom coburn, who has been watching out for your money. he demanded this report and he said, "borrowing money from countries who receive our aid is dangerous for both the donor and recipient. if countries can afford to buy our debt, perhaps they can afford to fund their own assistance programs without relying on the american taxpayer." michael tenet goes on to say that we give china $3.9 million to enforce the rule of law and human rights, neither of which are thought to be china's selling points. the one that really burns, though is that $700,000 of economic development assistance. it boggles my mind that the u.s. taxpayers are asked to send money to china, who is outcompeting us in virtually every sector, send money to subsidize their economic development assistance?
one would think with all this evidence that foreign aid would not reach the -- that is it doesn't reach the intended beneficiaries and often hand up in the hands of dictators, you would think this information would make it easy to defeat foreign aid. when you look at the polls of the american people, you find that nearly 80% of the american people think foreign aid in general is a bad idea. we have roads in our country that are crumbling and need repair. we have bridges that are crumbling. in my state alone, we had a bridge out six months last year. we have two bridges that are older than i am and need to be replaused in kentucky. we don't have the money but we somehow have billions of dollars to send to people who disrespect us and burn our flag. i don't understand how we can send our money to these countries who disdain us, who disrespect us. in pakistan, they hold a doctor who helped us get bin laden.
we fought a ten-year war in afghanistan to get bin laden and his follow irrelevance. we finally got him. no help to back stan or no help from pakistan. he lived in pakistan for many years. pakistan is now mad that we got him. in fact, they riot over there and burn the american flag because we killed bin laden. what do we do? here's some more money. if i would give you some more money, will you behavior? if would you give you some more money, will you let our supplies go across your northern frontier? but we don't ask them, are you our friend? if you are our friend, act like it. if you are our ally, act like it. any time this question is broached, the vast majority of career politicians complain bitterly. i have been trying to have this vote for six weeks. they don't want to vote on this because they know that they're voting against the popular will. they are voting against the wishes of their constituents.
there is no one senator from any one of the 50 states up here that when they vote against these limitations on foreign aid that won't be voting against the will of that i remember state. they won't be voting against the will of their people. you can go to massachusetts or maine or to conservative texas and ask the taxpayers, ask the voters, are you in favor of sending money to these countries where tens of thousands of people are gathering and burning our flag? are you in favor of sending hard-earned taxpayer money to countries that disrespect us? are you in favor of sending money to these countries when we have so many problems at home that we can't handle? and you'll find in every state in the union, you'll find a majority of the voters, sometimes a vast majority of the voters, think it is a mistake. so what's happening here is that the will of the people is not being transmitted to this body. because this body, when it votes
on this issue, will vote in direct defiance to the will of the people. it's often said that it's difficult to determine whether a recipient is a friend or a foe. libya is an example. one day libya came from the cold. a longtime pariah among nations, rivalling iran as a model for extreme thuggishness, libya came from from the cold. libya -- colonel qadhafi phoned the west and said they would change their ways, they would stop developing weapons of mass destruction and become good neighbors to all. this is before the recent libyan revolution. this is the qadhafi that we helped to overturn, that was by all accounts a horrible dictator. but about two owe three years ago he came from the cold and wanted to be a friend to america. because he wanted our assistance. with an allah christie spread by
naivete, the west welcomed him. they went to mete with qadhafi, to meet with his family, to offer qadhafi money. prime minister tony blair gushed with prays for his new friend carcolonel qadhafi. president bush said that libya was no longer a sponsor of terror. according to leaked cable, he was offered aid. fast-forward, barely a year later the arabs bring in the same senators who were offering qadhafi aid, were back in libya offering the rebels aid. we should scratch our head and say, my goodness, maybe we should question the judgment of these people who tell you foreign aid should be given to everyone all the time, and if they misbehave, give them more, because you have senators interests this body going --
senators from this body going and offering aid to qadhafi and then a year later going and offering aid to the rebels and overflowinoverthrowing qadhafi e was a terrible dictator. we were always willing to play the game with your money. egypt -- egypt is a pile of contradiction. in the words of former c.i.a. agent robert baer, if you want a serious interrogation, he send a prisoner to jordan. if you want them for tiewrksd you send them to sear yavment but if you want them to disappear, to never see them again, you send them to egypt. this was the egypt under mew with regard rack, who when we felt somebody needed to be tortured or disappeared, and we didn't want there to be any repercussions coming back on us, that's where they sent them, to egypt. over the past 30 years we bought
this sort of regime there to do our bidding when we wished. it became very unpopular to people and so you wonder if the arab spring, you wonder why are these people so unhappy? well, they hated mubarak because he was a dictator. he was an autocrat, and they didn't have freedom of speech, they didn't have freedom of association, and they were beaten with pillly clubs if they tried to gather. their political parties were outlawed. they hated mubarak because he was anti-democrat. he didn't allow voting. but he was our guy. we paid for him. so you have to think this through. why is there such a wide-spread anti-americanism? because we propped up and gave money to so much despots, to so many dictators. over the past 30 years, the united states sent over $30 billion to egypt, to help finance a police state moved by an emergency decree that lasted several decades.
challenge i.d. sayed became the face of that foreign aid as pictures of his bloody beating spurred the youth of egypt to take to the streets in the arab spring of 2011. on june 6, 2010, sayed had been sitting on the second floor f f a cybercafé, two detectives entered the premises and arrested him. multiple witnesses testified that he was beaten to death by the police who reportedly hit him and smashed him against objects as he was led outside to their car. the owner of the internet cafe in which sayed was arrested stayed witnessed sayed being beaten to death. after the detective detectives m out of the cafe at the owners's request, another young man, gonam, a young egyptian living in dubai, found the photos of s
a. yed after being beaten to death and started a facebook page. it was moderated by gonam and brought attention to his death and became a phenomena. it spread across the middle east. people saw the death of this man beaten to death by the police. so we have to think, were why are we seeing people burning the american flak in why are we seeing such great unrest in 30 different countries? because our foreign aid and our military aid has propped up dictators who become over decades despotic, autocratic, who torture their people, prevent freedom from occurring, and then there's a backare lash. what we're seeing is the backlash of 30 years of foreign aid and propping up military dictatorships, simply because they were predisposed to like us as opposed to someone else. we are all khalid saye dnchts
was the rallying cry that brought hundreds of thousands of people to the street in egypt. gonam's facebook spawned a revolution. as hundreds of thousands of protesters spilled tie ear square, the police beat them back. david rife of "the new republic" reports, "u.s. military aid to egypt, which averages $1.3 billion annually, allowed the egyptian police and paramilitaries to bombard protesters with volley after volley of tear gas, made by a company in pennsylvania." why are they angry? they know this. they know that their protests are beaten down by autocrats, supported by the u.s., who are spraying tear gas on them made in the united states.
we have to understand the dynamic if we're ever tru to tro improve the situation. the protests in egypt escalated day after day. an unemployed man by the name of sala mamud who had work moved to cairo and had been living on small days' wages, set himself on fire in the middle of the street before being put out by bystanders. the u.s. military aid and training given to egypt, libya and tunisia to fight terrorism was used to fight against free association and freedom of speech of their people. when we hear about the arab spring, we need to understand where did the arab spring come from? the arab spring was a rising up for democracy, there's nothing wrong with that. but why would a rising up for democracy, would why would that
take on anti-american tones? i'm as offended as anybody else by people burning our flag but you have to understand why did the arab spring that seemed to be a search for freedom and democracy, why did it get transformed into an arab winter? why did it get transformed into an anti-american protest? because the tear gas that rained down on them for decades was made here. because the police batons were paid for with your money. because mubarak who stole billions of dollars and whose family lived with such wealth and abundance, with homes in london and paris and secret swiss accounts, he got that at your expense. so when they hated mubarak, they hated you also. they hated us because we were mubarak. they hated us because we were ben ali in tunisia. they hated us because we were at
one time saddam hussein's friend. if we don't understand this, we're never going to figure out a way to make things better. there are many and ample fiscal reasons to oppose foreign aid but thomas edlam writes foreign aid has historically been used to suppress freedom and has reduced the moral influence of the example of the u.s. constitution. it's hard for us to imagine, because we have such a great constitution and such great freedom here, why don't they appreciate that? why don't they appreciate, look to the shining example that we set, and we do set a great example in our country for freedom and tolerance and association, and why can't the folks in the middle east see that? because they see the truncheon,
the police baton, they see the jail cells, they say trial without jury from the autocrats that we have supported. you have to understand why this anti-americanism comes. it has come because largely our foreign aid for decade upon decade has been given to despots throughout the middle east. those despots have run roughshod on their people and their people are unhappy. it's not that they despise our constitution. i think many of them would like to have the freedoms enshrined in our constitution. but it's confusing to us because we think they hate is all about, they hate america for our wealth and freedom. they don'tate hait wealth and freedom. they probably don't hate us in the abstract but they slate hait us because when they see mubarak, the other end of a
truncheon coming from the police of mubarak or saddam hussein or the chemical weaponry and gas that hussein sprayed on his people, they see where it came from and they see the money that came in to prop up these dictators. from 1980 to 1988 there was a war, and we've largely forgotten about it. it was between iran and iraq. in that war there were planes on both sides, american planes, because we had sold planes to both sides. at the time, iran was still flying many f-4's, a couple phantoms and on the other side we had advisors on the ground advising hussein. hussein was our ally and we sent money to hussein on a routine basis. there are some reports that say hussein grect drectly got money from our c.i.a. -- directly got money from our c.i.a. you can understand the confusion over there and you can understand even though iraq has been liberated and there is a democracy there, that some of them still seem to hate us for
some reason. you wonder why would they hate us if we freed them? because some of them still remember hussein and they fear there will be another hussein. one of the saddest stories that came up i think in the last week was a young soldier was killed in afghanistan. he was killed by the policeman, the afghan policeman he was training. we've had over 50 deaths in afghanistan this year from friendly fire from our supposed allies. this one was particularly sad. this boy was to come home within a week or two. his brother was having a football game, was supposed to make his brother's football game. this was a patriotic family. this was a military family. this boy proudly served and he deserves nothing but our admiration. but he called his dad a week before and he said to his dad, i think the guy that i'm training is going to kill me. the afghan policeman had been coming up to him for weeks saying we don't want you here. these are the people we're
sending our money to and that we're sending our boys to die -- our young -- young men and women to die but it isn't clear they are our friends, want to be our allies and it isn't clear that we can buy their friendship. the president of afghanistan, karzai, we basically helped get in power. he stays in power probably because of our presence there. yet he's disdainful of us. they have said if there is a war with pakistan, karzai said he would side with pakistan. when there was a shooting recently where an afghan policeman shot several of our officers in a government building where they shouldn't have been armed, or weren't armed, karzai's response was to talk about the burning. co-ran as -- koran as though it was a justification for the deaths. when the rights erupted?
are what were the words out of president morsi in egypt? the words were how dare america produce this film? america didn't produce the film. not that we should protect the embassy and that really there is no justification for attacking an embassy regardless of any discussion over this movie. but we have to figure out how do we get and retain valid allies? we do have allies we don't give money to. but too often through the years we have decided to choose one dictator over another, to choose the lesser of two evils. ultimately often we've had to go back in to fight against our own weapons. hussein was our ally. we ended up going in to fight against him. the mujahideen that became the taliban. they were our ally, too, against russia. we were, in fact, explicitly in favor of radical jihad when it was directed against the soviet
union. some of the weapons are left over. in fact, when you look at taliban weapons captured now, many of them are american weapons. because it's unclear whether or not we have a good handle on what we give to the afghan police, we're not positive that they don't wind up in the hands of the taliban. it's a very murky situation but i don't think it's a situation that should continue. i think it's time to come home from afghanistan. people say on the other side, they say you want to disengage. no, i want to have relationships with countries around the world. i want to have diplomatic relationships, i want to have trade. but ayotte i don't think having diplomatic relations means you have to bribe them. some people hate you enough that bribing them won't work. and often is counterproductive. thomas edlam reports that even rife, from "the new republic"
who is not an opponent of foreign aid in theory, concluded of foreign aid to egypt this is not only a moral scandal, it is a geopolitical strategic blunder of huge proportions. like so many authoritarian regimes, the prime beneficiary of the u.s. foreign aid to egypt was the leader for life, mubarak. and the end result of 0 years of supporting an unpopular dictator is that we're now seeing run eyeing in the -- uprising in the streets. why are they anti-american? because we're friends of mubarak. alison alisar was the author of "the last pharaoh." he said that the mubaraks owned several residenceness egypt, some inherited from previous presidents and the monarchy and others he has built. he has had a very lavish lifestyle with many homes around
the country. he estimates their family's wealth to be between $50 billion and $70 billion. the gross national income is $2,000 per family in egypt. you think that might make people a little bit mad? the guy's worth $50 billion to $70 billion and the average income is $2,000. the average income in africa hasn't improved in decades, and you've got dictators worth a billion dollars. do you think it makes those people harbor anti-american sentiments because the leaders, these dictators have gotten american money? about 20% of the population in egypt lives below the poverty line. according to a 2010 report. and it's not just mubarak himself. it's his whole family that's been enriched. in 2001 they estimated his
wealth at $10 billion. just in american banks. swiss, british banks, bank of scotland, bank of england, you wonder what it's worth today or if we found it all. you also wonder how much of that money in those secret bank accounts is really just your money. egypt's first lady, suzanne mubarak's weferlt wealth just by herself is estimated at $5 billion. how much of that is your money? when you hear these numbers of billions of dollars the dictators have, secreted away in swiss bank accounts, listen to that and remember when you hear the plethora of senators who will come to the floor and say that not one penny of foreign aid should ever be cut, ever. not one penny of aid, they argue, should have conditioned placed on it. the amendment that i will offer today places conditions on foreign aid.
but it places conditions that have to pass the senate. not that can be rubber stamped by hillary clinton. hillary clinton thinks human rights are going fine in egypt. she rubber stamped and said give them a billion. a couple of months ago. no human rights abuses in egypt. she also approved an extra billion for pakistan a month ago. we can't rely on the purse strings to be transferred, particularly to this administration, but even to any administration, republican or democrat. the purse strings are to remain, were intended to remain and the constitution says, are to remain in the legislature. this is a real problem. so my legislation makes it come back and we have to vote on it here, that they are in compliance. that there are no human rights violations, that egypt is not stealing the money and that they're willing and able, that they can and will protect our embassy.
i think at a very minimum if you're going to cash our check, if you're going to have our foreign aid, which i'm not a big fan of, but if you're going to give it, at the very least it should have strings attached that say you have to protect the american embassy. one of mubarak's sons was jamal nuclear jamal -- jamal mubarak. he's the assistant secretary of general of the ruling national democratic party in egypt. his own wealth is estimated at $17 billion. supposedly spread through several banking institutions in switzerland, germany, and the u.s. and britain. you wonder how much of the $17 billion is really your money. ala mubarak, a daughter, her property has reached into -- nearly $8 billion. she's got properties on rodeo drive in los angeles, real
estate in washington state, new york, owns two royal yachts with a value of 6 million pounds. these are the yachts you can land a helicopter on. these are the yachts that have a swimming pool on them. how much of that $8 billion, how much of the money that went to pay for these yachts for the mubarak family is yours? see, the thing is, you should be mad. and i think americans are mad. but it's this confusing situation. we should be mad about the foreign aid, and so are the populations that are burning the american flag are mad because see, they didn't receive the foreign aid. the foreign aid went to mubarak. so you should be mad that your senators send this money to dictators and that the dictators live these lavish lifestyles, live in these mansions throughout the world throughout switzerland, london, paris, some of the largest private homes in the world are owned by dictators paid for with your money. you should be angry. you should be frothing. you should be upset. and you should tell your
senators. you should tell your congressmen, no more money to these dictators. but at the same time you become angry, think it through and understand why the arab world is angry. they don't hate our freedom. they don't hate our constitution. they are angry at their own dictators, but they are angry that we propped up their dictators for decades after decades. but it all has to do with foreign aid. i have been arguing primarily about pakistan, but the thing is this is bigger than pakistan. pakistan is just the most egregious and one of the larger recipients of our aid. $3 billion worth a year. maybe more. and right now, they are holding dr. shakil alfredi. they tortured him for a year and he has been in prison for the rest of his life. that's not the way an ally acts.
i say no more money, i don't think that's too harsh, no more money to pakistan until they release this doctor. i don't think that's too much to ask. but you will find very few in this body. ask the american people, 80% to 90% agree with me no more money to pakistan until this doctor is free. ask this body, about 10%, i will be lucky to get 20% of them to agree to have -- not just cut off aid, have restrictions on aid. that's how bad it is. the arab spring brought corruption and theft of u.s. aid to light in libya and egypt, but africa is rife with stories of theft and dictator spoils. nugaema is the son of he can early to new guinea's dictator. he recently ran afoul of french customs who discovered that his chartered chet had 26 supercars on it -- jet had 26 supercars on it, including five ferraris,
five bentley, five rolls royces, and two bughattis. is anybody besides me mad that we're sending foreign aid to african dictators whose sons are importing rolls royces, bentleys, ferraris and benghattis to africa and countries who have no electricity? i don't care if you're the biggest humanitarian in the world and you want to help people -- it's not going to the people. the foreign aid is stolen by the leadership of these countries and this isn't one example, this is example after example, decade after decade. and the learning curve around here is so slow that we will get 10, maybe 20 senators to place any restrictions on foreign aid. 70% of the people living in africa live under the poverty threshold -- $2 a day. $$2 a day and the son of a leadr
is importing bughat ties, bentleys, rolls royces, ferraris on his own charter jet. it's got to be a pretty big jet to have 26 supercars on it. and the rest of africa lives on $2 a day. it's your money stolen or given by your government to dictators in africa. you have to get the connection. you need to be mad. there needs to be an american spring, an american spring where you tell your leaders you're sick and tired of your money going to fund dictators. an american spring, where we understand what happened in the arab spring. the arab spring is a direct consequence of us sending foreign aid and lavishing it on people who don't respect the freedom of their constituents, who don't allow constitutional freedoms. the arab spring's anger, as much as it is directed against
america, is not against our constitution. it isn't because they don't believe in freedom. it's because they're upset that we have been funding and subsidizing their dictators. the u.s. has given guinea almost $300 million over the past ten years, despite guinea having one of the worst human rights records on the planet. torture is said to be commonplace. "the new york times" reported that last spring, any policeman can arrest any citizen at any time. torture is a current thing -- a current thing -- said mr. mico, a lawyer who is in opposition party, recalling his own beating in the presence of high officials. gonzalo negonb sema, a pharmacist in the center of town here, recounted his recent encounter with police over a simple traffic mishap. "they beat me like an animal." so what do we do? we give guinea your money and
the people who are beaten with police truncheons at traffic accidents, who are they mad at? we need to begin to understand where the anger's coming from. when you prop up dictators in third world countries who beat their subjects into submission, that's why they're angry. they don't care that we're wealthy or free. they're angry because we prop up dictators who beat them with truncheons. despite widespread reports of abuse, corruption, and ineffectiveness, foreign aid continues unabated. despite polls that show over 70% of the american voters are opposed to foreign aid, it continues unabated. even when advocates of foreign aid are beaten down with stories such as i've been telling today, of human rights abuses, starvation, and downright death threats, hangings, shootings,
executions, these advocates trot forward their last defense. but foreign aid is only 1% of the budget. it's only $30 billion. do you know how many times they use that argument? every time i want to cut $30 billion. it's only $30 billion -- they use it for $300 million, too. "it's only $300 million." if you don't get started somewhere, how are you ever going to balance your budget? we can't live on with trillion-dollar deficits. they argue eliminating foreign aid won't balance the budget. no, it won't, but it's a start. and you have to start somewhere. and why not start with something that's counterproductive? why not start with eliminating something from the budget that is counterproductive and seems to create some of the -- some of the anger at least is some explanation for the anger in the arab world? the final arguments for foreign aid are so flimsy as you would not think they would be worth much to even try to refute.
proponents of the status quo use this argument over and over again for any budgetary item. but if we can't cut millions now or even billions, how will we he have get to trillions -- we ever get to trillions? when conservatives argue for cutting small subsidies to little airports that sometimes subsidize one airline ticket by $3,000, they argue "it will only save $300 million." it's not a valid argument, it's a weak argument, and we shouldn't accept it. cutting $30 billion worth of foreign aid wouldn't balance the budget, but, you know, i'm not even asking to cut the foreign aid. what i'm asking is that we place contingencies on it, rules of behavior. if you want to be our ally, act like it. if you want to be america's ally, act like it. if you want to cash our check, act like an ally and behave. at the very least, shouldn't there be some rules and restriction on who gets it? there are reasons for why --
while there are reasons for why they're burning the american flag, i'm an american and it upsets me. i'm bothered by the fact that the american flag's being burned but i'm also bothered by the fact that we're sending money to countries where this is occurring. we're faced now daily with tens of thousands of protesters in these middle eastern countries. we're faced with the tragic assassination of ambassador stevens. and with all the aid -- with all the evidence that foreign aid isn't working, that it enables dictators -- rarely buys the behavior we want -- still, both republicans and democrats clamor for more aid and they will fight tooth and nail against any restrictions on the aid. so you wonder, where are we going? in fact, you will find in this argument, if you will read the paper, you will find the secretary of state clinton is
today arguing for more aid to egypt. see, their argument is, if a country doesn't like us, if they behave illy towards america, if you give them more money, maybe they'll act better. i think kind of the opposite. one where we're out of money, we're a trillion dollars short, i think if we give them less money, they'd think more about their behavior. perhaps if we gave less money, or in my mind, no money to pakistan until dr. afridi's released, maybe he'd be releas released. it boggles the mind to think that these senators are in favor of no restrictions and actually increasing aid despite decades of evidence that foreign aid isn't working for our country. proponents of this aid continue to argue that these mobs will be more inflamed if we don't give them money. i think it's quite the opposite. i think the other thing about it they don't quite get is that i don't think the people rioting
are rioting saying, "give us more aid." what they're rioting for is that they don't like what our aid did in the first place. they're rioting against autocratic, authoritarian governments that were propped up by our aid. so the people who argue that taking away the aid will inflame the arab world, well, for goodness sakes, turn on the television set, they're plenty inflamed. now, take away -- taking away their aid doesn't make it better immediately either, but you at least have some consolation that we're at least trying to do something about the deficit and that maybe we have problems at home that are more pressing than this, and that maybe we won't reward bad behavior. but to say that taking away the aid may inflame the arab world? you need to turn on the television set because they're plenty inflamed already. but if you don't understand why they're inflamed, if you don't understand the arab spring, if you don't understand why they're mad -- that they're mad because we've propped up dictators that kept them down and kept them
from freedom -- you'll never understand or come to a resolution to make things bett better. i, for one, will not vote for one more penny, i will not vote for one more penny of foreign aid to anyone unless it has restrictions on it. and i will only vote on it if the restrictions say, you have to behave and it has to be approved by the senate. we've tried it before. the other side may come to the floor and say, "oh, we have restrictions on aid. foreign aid already has restrictions." well, yeah, they're not working because we gave them to the executive branch. like so much in this body, we've been giving up power to the presidency for a hundred years. this isn't a republican-democrat thing. this is just a legislative abdication of power and we let the president do whatever he wants. i don't -- i'm not arguing republican or democrat. i'm arguing any president. the power should remain here to the purse strings. we should control them tightly and we should say, foreign aid only goes out under very strict conditions and we shouldn't let
the final decision be made by an administration that doesn't seem to have the fortitude to make these tough decisions. enough's enough. we're running trillion-dollar deficits. and it's time to make a stand. so i've been making a stand for the last week, filibustering this bill. it doesn't make me the most popular person here in washington. people's travel schedules have been disrupted because of my filibuster. people's campaigning has been disrupted because of my filibuster. but this is not a new problem and it's not a small problem. we're talking about an aid program that's gone on decade after decade. we're talking about an enormous uprising in 30 countries, the arab spring, and now maybe the arab winter. and we're talking about, how do we make things better? until we fully understand what the arab spring's about and also why the huge amount of anti-americanism is running throughout the middle east, until we understand that, we
can't make it better. but i say, throwing good money after bad is not the answer. so this evening, i think we will get to vote on my amendment and my amendment is to simply say to libya, to egypt and pakistan that there are restrictions. on all three they will have to say that we will protect your embassy. there is a question whether egypt was forthcoming in protecting our embassy, and there's no question libya wasn't. in the case of libya, i think there are elements there that want to like america. there are also still elements that don't like mechanic. america. but there's not really any government. so i wonder whether an embassy should be opened or reopened in libya. my fear is that if you reopen the embassy in libya and you put 50 marines in there, that you may have a catastrophe like we had in lebanon when we had 200 marines killed back in the early 1980's. i think without thousands of marines, i don't think you could protect an embassy in a large city in libya.
it doesn't mean we don't have relations. so when i argue for not putting the embassy back in, it's because i think long and hard about the danger to another ambassador and to what happens and what their family will have to suffer if another ambassador is killed. i also think that we can have probably an embassy in a neighboring country and that's what i would recommend until things stabilize. if libya wants to have aid, they should keep cooperating with us with regard to finding the assassins. they should try to work where they can become stable enough to have an embassy. but the bottom line with libya that a lot of people forget, as i talk about foreign aid, so many people are like, oh, we can't cut off aid to libya, they want to be pro-american. they have oil. all throughout the bombing, when president obama was bombing libya, he kept saying, "oh, it will all be free. they'll pay us for it later. it will be a free war."
we've heard that one before. iraq was going to be a free war also, that iraq oil was going to pay for it. never ends up happening. but that's what they told us about libya. with regard to pakistan, i have one additional requirement. they have to protect and prove to us they will protect our embassy and they have to release dr. afridi. and i think this is very little to ask. he's under death threats in prison. his family's under death threats in the countryside. they're living in hiding and living in fear because they helped us. the other reason why this administration should really take it personally is somebody leaked dr. afridi's name. his name should have never been known. i doubt it was someone with the c.i.a., but somebody who knew his name leaked this story. there were some stories about a month or two ago about how the president was doing a great job with terrorism. in those stories, it talked
about a doctor with a vaccine program and his name was found out. somebody leaked those, somebody very close to the president leaked those, and i think that needs to be investigated, and it's a crime and it should be punished. but not only is it a crime. whoever in the administration leaked that information about dr. afridi, i hope they lie awake at night and really worry about their soul in the sense that this man may well die. he is going to be in prison for the rest of his life because his name was leaked. that kind of behavior from high-ranking government officials is inexcusable. this evening, we will have this vote. i will encourage the senators to vote for this resolution. it doesn't end aid. i would prefer we end it. this is a moderate step in the sense that it just attaches
mr. mccain: i ask unanimous consent to address the senate as if in morning business. the presiding officer: if the senator would ask that the quorum call -- mr. mccain: i ask unanimous consent that the quorum call be suspended. i ask to be allowed to address the senate as if in morning business in a colloquy with the senator from south carolina, perhaps other senators who may wish to speak.
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, before i get to the issue concerning the senator from kentucky's amendment, i was just intpofrpld that the president of the united states, while speaking to hispanic television alleged that the reason why immigration reform was not enacted in the last four years of his presidency is because the senator from arizona walked away. incredible. incredible statement i'm not often in the business of accusing presidents of the united states of not telling the truth, but facts are stubborn things. first of all, it was then-senator obama who joined with senator kennedy and me when we were doing comprehensive immigration reform, and we
pledged that we would take tough votes so that the whole fragile coalition would not fall apart. instead of doing that, the then-senator from illinois, barack obama proposed an amendment which would have destroyed the entire coalition we had together and did so without telling senator kennedy or me or anyone else, by sunsetting the provisions that called for temporary workers. but more importantly, in 2009 i was invited over to the white house. i came over there, there was a conversation with others about comprehensive immigration reform, and the president at that time stated they would be proposing legislation. i told him i'd be glad to examine it and i'd be glad to support any effort for comprehensive immigration reform that i could agree with. nothing came from the white house. zero. not one word. not one piece of legislation was proposed by the administration.
after the shooting and the tragedy in tucson, the president gave a great speech. i wrote an article thanking him. i was invited over to the white house again, when we discussed comprehensive immigration reform. i said i'm ready to sit down with you and move forward on it. he said of course. there was never a word. was the president of the united states waiting for the senator from arizona to bring forward comprehensive immigration reform? is that how he thinks government works? so, again, we find a president who wants to blame everybody else, no matter what it is. my friend from south carolina was involved in this issue as well, and i'd be interested in his observation of this entire issue. i still stand ready to move forward with comprehensive immigration reform. mr. graham: thank you. it was very difficult politics. it was a very fragile but robust
coalition back in the day. president bush sent over two cabinet secretaries every week, was personally involved in trying to get comprehensive immigration reform passed in 2006 and 2007. i saw firsthand the commitment by the white house where secretary gutierrez and many others came over, homeland security secretary came over and basically wrote the bill line by line. senator kennedy, myself, mccain, kyl, just a bunch of people. salazar. senator obama showed up on occasion. but at the end of the day the basic construct was that for a modern immigration system, merit-based immigration, a new way of doing business, better border security, better employer verification systems, republicans would allow the 12 million to earn their way into
lawful standing, a long and arduous way into citizenship they would have to earn and in return we would get a supplement to help american businesses when they could not find an american worker. part of the grand bargain was that the chamber would be able to access labor in a more modern, efficient way. the labor unions hated that part of the bill. a lot of people on the right hated the idea of earned pathway to citizenship coming out of the shadows and living under the law, paying taxes, and all the other things in the bill. and senator obama out of nowhere came to the floor and said, i have a commonsense amendment i'd like to propose that we sunset that temporary worker program, 400,000 i think it was allocated to american businesses, after
five years. what would have happened if i came to the floor and said let's terminate the pathway to citizenship or sunset it after five years? that was the heart and soul of the deal. thank god his amendment went down. but during the negotiations and during that critical time, i think he gave in to the pressure from the unions. but he did promise in 2008 when he ran against senator mccain that he would pass comprehensive immigration reform in his first year. and i looked at the interview last night and got bits and pieces of it. as i recall the first year of the obama administration, it was all about impair obamacare and the stimulus. i don't remember any effort bipartisan or otherwise to deal with immigration reform because all the capital was spent on obamacare and the stimulus. and at the end of the day the only time president obama has talked about immigration reform was when rallies were going to be held here at the late hour of the election he tries to do
something with the dream act modified in a unilateral fashion. at the end of the day, you're right, senator mccain, you can blame others but i think the record speaks loudly and clearly where his agenda laid in the first years of his administration and immigration reform was not a blip on the radar screen. mr. mccain: mr. president, on another subject, yesterday the senate and then later the house were called together to get a briefing from key members of the administration led by the secretary of the, high-ranking member of the f.b.i., director of national intelligence, general clapper and the vice chairman of the joint chiefs of staff to tell us ostensibly what happened in the tragic death of christopher -- ambassador christopher stevens and three other brave americans. so we gathered down in the
secret room, which everybody turns in their phones and blackberries, and we went in and listened to basically a description of america's military disposition in that part of the world, something which certainly does not warrant a super secret briefing. but more importantly than that, when the secretary and the others were asked exactly what happened, what happened here, what caused this tragedy? what was the sequence of events? in fact, it was senators, the ranking member of the intelligence committee, what happened? the answer was, well, that's still an ongoing investigation, and we can't tell you anything. we were supposed to be down there to hear what happened, to hear the administration's version of events of what
happened. we were told nothing. we were told absolutely nothing. and because it's an investigation going on. mr. president, this morning -- this morning the "wall street journal," who titled misjudgments preceded deadly libya attack, there is a tick to*bg -- toc starting all the way through of the event that took place. if that -- now if that isn't --f that isn't an incredible disrespect to the members of the united states senate, i don't know what is. so, again, it's the -- it's an example of the disdain with which this body is held by the administration, including, i'm sorry to say, the secretary of state. so it's really -- it's not -- it's not that i'm offended as a united states senator.
it is that the disrespect to the institution of the senate when we are called together ostensibly to receive information, that information they tell us they can't give us, and then it appears on the front page of the "wall street journal" and "the new york times." what does that mean about the attitude that this administration has to this body? obviously it's not one that i think is of respect. so -- mr. graham: well, just briefly, i was very disappointed in the briefing yesterday, too. the bottom line is, we asked questions like, "how many people were at the benghazi consulate?" you pick up "the new york times" and you get a blow-by-blow description of what supposedly went o. so it was like pulling teeth to get information yesterday. a lot of senators were frustrated. and you pick up major newspapers
in the country and you find details not shared with you. and one of the things i'm worried about is we're trying to find out who committed these terrible acts of terrorism -- and they were acts of terrorism, not a spontaneous riot -- i said, what is the game plan? will they be held as enemy exatents, are they going to be held as common criminals? will they be prosecuted in libya? will they be brought back to the united states? do you have to read them their miranda rights? really absolutely not a whole lot of information. but at the end of the day, it was a lost opportunity i think to inform the congress. can we now move to the rand paul amendment? mr. mccain: mr. president, i'd like to take what remaining time we have in order to discuss the paul amendment. and i'd like to begin by asking insertion in the -- in the "congressional record" a letter from reteared military leader leaders -- retired military
leaders, urge opposition to paul amendment. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: mr. president, you know, i don't think that our military leaders, retired and active duty, are infallible but i think their views are very important given the vast experience that so many of them on this list -- this is 110 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals -- i think we should at least pay close attention to their views. they've earned it. they have earned our respect for their views. and the letter, again, signed by 110 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals, states -- and i quote -- "as cochairs of the u.s. global leadership coalition's national security advisory council, a group of more than 110 retired three- and four-star generals and admirals, we believe that the international affairs budget" -- ie., u.s. foreign assistance -- "is critical to america's
national security. like all americans, we are concerned about the recent events that have taken place in cairo, benghazi, and other parts of the arab world. however, a wholesale suspension of u.s. assistance to nations in this region is not in america's national security interests. u.s. assistance is not a gift to recipient nations. it is not a tool to make other countries like us. it's a critical component, along with a robust military, of america's national security strategy. these programs pay dividends in terms of our national security and preventing another 9/11. america must remain strongly engaged in the world. we urge opposition to the amendment offered by senator rand paul to suspend u.s. assistance to several nations in the most volatile regions of the world. thank you for your consideration
of our views." and then 110 former three-star and four-star admirals and generals. in addition to that, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the -- a letter from apac be inserted in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. mccain: this letter is from the american-israel public affairs committee. america's pro-israel lobby. it is a letter addressed to majority leader harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. "we are writing to express our opposition to the paul amendment cutting off u.s. foreign assistance to countries which host a u.s. diplomatic facility that is attacked any time after september 1, 2012. while we hope every effort is made to find and prosecute the terrorists who murdered the brave u.s. diplomats killed in the embassy attacks in benghazi, libya, we do not believe the approach outlined in the paul amendment is the way to respond
to these horrific acts. for one, the amendment is broadly drafted so it would potentially affect aid to an american ally, including israel, should terrorists decide to 'attack, trespass or breach u.s. diplomatic facilities there.' furthermore, at this time of turmoil and uncertainty in the middle east, the united states government needs to be able to use all available tools to influence events in the region. u.s. foreign assistance programs are a critical part of that toolbox and essential to ensuring continued strong american leadership in the world. we urge you to oppose the paul amendment." now, all of us here are very familiar with apac. it is a very, very well-respected and highly regarded organization that is really responsible for informing us, for strengthening our ties
between the united states and israel. and i hope that my colleagues will take this very strong letter of apac into consideration. now, there's -- there's so many things wrong with the rand amendment that it's hard to know where to begin. i'd like to mention, because i know my colleague, who plays a role on the appropriations committee, and the ranking member of the intelligence committee want to join in and i don't want to take too much time. i want to mention two countries. libya, to start with. now, somehow to labor under the belief that the libyan people are opponents of the united states of america is a fundamental misunderstanding of the libyans and the libya people. they are grateful. they are grateful to the united states of america. they have condemned this attack and this heinous crime of the assassination of four brave
americans. they have said they will do everything in their power to bring these people to justice. i was there on july 7 in tripoli and i saw thousands of libyans saying, "thank you, america. thank you, united states. thank you, ambassador stevens." "thank you." because they were under the yoke of one of the most brutal dictators on earth who, by the way, was responsible for the deaths of americans in pan am 103 and the bombing of a disco in berlin. so -- and -- but there's a problem in this country. they have porous borders. they have militias running around. they have not had a government of their own in more -- forever, literally. and -- and we -- and they need our help. they need our help in providing border security, in bringing these militias under control and these weapons that are proliferated everywhere. so our mage with the paul amendment -- so our message with the paul
amendment is adios, see ya around. that's not america's role in libya. that's not america's role in the world. and nothing would be more welcomed in libya today than if the islamists and al qaeda, who are there, and other extremists would -- nothing would make them happier than to hear that the united states had cut off all assistance to libya. nothing would encourage them more. nothing would allow them to gain more traction and support from the libyan people. this is a fight for the heart and souls of the people of the middle east. it's not a video -- it's not a video that has caused this problem and these riots and demonstrations. it's the efforts of the islamists who magnify and spread an obscure video throughout the arab world to stoke up the fears and anger of the people of these countries when the fact is that
it is a struggle for power. that's what's going on with these libya -- with these videos is a struggle for power. so we're going to send a message to the libyan people, who lost thousands of their citizens in this recent struggle to oust qadhafi from their country. the second country i just want to mention very quickly is egy egypt. many of us are disappointed at some of the actions the egyptians have taken. i will say that president morsi condemned these attacks. he went to tehran and condemned bashir assad. but egypt, in my view, is pretty much kind of up for grabs. i don't know how the egyptians are going to go. there's a struggle internally between the sal fists and the -- and the extremists and those who want a modern and -- and democratic society. and that struggle will continue on. but i'd also remind my colleagues that they're one of the signal agreements -- that
one of the signal agreements of our time was the egyptian-israeli peace agreement which was consummated at camp david by president carter, anwar iananwar sadat and menachem beg. and this was a major step forward, peace between egypt and israel. part of that deal was that the united states would provide aid to egypt. how the egyptians -- are the egyptians going to react if we cut off aid to them? i can tell you how they'll react. they'll react that we have breached an agreement that's gone on for a long time. and believe me, egypt and israel's relations are vital in the middle east. and, again, what would prove a better message to the extremists than be able to tell their people, not only does the american people dislike us, not only are they not in support of us, but they won't assist us and other countries. there are many other examples,
and i believe -- i believe that the united states role in the world is important and i believe also, as i mentioned, as a footnote, this debate's been going on all of the 20th century, now into the 21st century. those who are isolationists want to withdraw to fortress america. you can go back to post-world war i and the fight over the league of nations, and prior to world war ii, the isolationists, the henry fords, the charles lindzbergs or the isolationists prior to world war ii, past world war two, the taft wing of the republican party and the eisenhower wing, all the way up till this fight that will probably continue. history will show that the greatest nation in history was the united states of america, who following world war ii, restored europe, turned back the tide of communism, has been able all over the world, with no greed, no selfish interest except for democracy and
freedom, to aid these countries, which eventually redownd es favor to the united states of america. i urge, obviously, rejection of the rand amendment. mr. graham: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: i do see senator chambliss here. i'll ask him a question here and get his thoughts. but just -- just to kind of follow on what senator mccain was saying. it's the rand paul amendment, yeah. and to begin with, rand paul is a recently elected senator who's come to the body with a lot of enthusiasm and he is willing to make hard choices. he -- i've worked with him on medicare reform, on social security reform. i think he will take on the spending situation in in -- in this country very acongresssive. i think he's very -- aggressively. i think he's very brave when it comes to entitlement reform. on that side of the ledger, i find himself very much in agreement with what he wants to do. but he does have a view of foreign policy that i think is
ill-suited to the times and historically has not worn very well. as senator mccain said, history's full of moments where america and other powers felt like now's the time to withdraw and let those people argue among themselves. the problem with "letting those people" and you just fill in the blank who they might be, argue among themselves ignores the fact that what goes on in one place in the world can affect us, and no better example than 9/11. the entire operation to attack our nation cost less than a million dollars. the 2021 terrorists who trained to attack us had about a million dollar budget. the author of this attack lived in a cave in a faraway place called afghanistan, so it really does matter what happens in places like afghanistan.
and radical islamists have no desire for democracy in the middle east or anywhere else, and they are a force within the middle east and throughout the world, but the good news for us is that they are a minority force. the taliban, who is a cousin of al qaeda, basically, are very much rejected by the afghan people. when you go to kabul today, you see a city with electricity, with commerce, with cars, with movement, with women in school, and the average afghan doesn't want to go back to the taliban way of doing business where there is no music, there no interaction with each other, only on terms that they set for you. and so what you see on your television at night is a political struggle for the heart and soul of the middle east. this has been going on for a long time, and finally the lid
blew. egypt was an authoritarian, corrupt dictatorship. tunisia, libya was ruled by qadhafi, syria by assad. and what you see is people who have seen another way of living are saying enough already. i'm not going to be part of that anymore. i'm going to try to change my life and my children's life. within that population, you also have people who are dead set on making sure that that nation and the islamic world goes backward, not forward, and we have to take sides. and if we don't take sides and we sit on the sidelines, we'll pay a price. i think it is better to help people fight the taliban than it is to ignore the taliban. i think it's good to go after al qaeda and every country on the planet so they never know a moment of peace so we can have a few moments of peace. i think it's better to fight these guys in their back yard than to come home and let them
come to our back yard. there is a reason behaven't been attacked in over 11 years. we have been on the offense, and there is more ways to be on the offense than just bombing people. the biggest fear of the taliban and al qaeda, beyond having a bomb dropped on their head -- and they don't mind dying. they really don't like living. they will die in a heartbeat to make sure you can't live your life the way you would like. it is absolutely of no consequence to them for them to sacrifice their own life and take you with them, and their goal is if we're going to live, you're going to live my way, not your way. their big fear is that people have the capacity to say no to them and the ability to fight back and win in the countries in question. so when you kill bin laden, that's a moment of satisfaction and justice, but has that changed the war on terror? have the terrorists given up? have people said oh, the americans killed bin laden. we better not go over the wall in egypt, we better not attack
the consulate? no. this is a struggle between the modern world and forces of darkness and the way america wins this war is to empower those in other countries to fight and win in their own country without us having to be there with 100,000 troops all the time. and the biggest nightmare of the taliban and al qaeda is to build a one-room schoolhouse. where kids can get an education. to have clean drinking water that you own and control, to be able to go to a courtroom rather than a sharira court to have resolutions resolved. to be able to have commerce and interaction with the rest of the world, to tried with the rest of the world. that's what they fear most. in our foreign assistance budget, foreign aid is 1% of the entire federal budget. and if you took it off the table, you are left with the
following way to affect the world. do nothing or bomb people. and you know what? those men and women in uniform have been at war for 11 years. how about having a tool in measure's toolbox to fight the enemy without having to use military force? when you clear a village of the taliban, how do you hold and build that village? you bring in a health care clinic, something at the most rudimentary standards, something that you would not even think about sending your kids to, but they welcome it because they have never had anything. basic one-room schoolhouse with a chalkboard and a few books lights up people's lives like you would not believe. that's how you hold and build. and to the state department, the department of agriculture, for teaching people to plant crops other than heroin, that's the al
qaeda taliban's worst nightmare. in egypt and libya and pakistan and yemen and you fill in the blank afghanistan. now, here's where i am going to challenge my friend rand paul's judgment, quite frankly. he has offered an amendment at one of the most critical times in the history of the middle east that would break -- would sever all aid, all assistance to libya, egypt and pakistan. why are we so upset by this thought process? trust me, i know we're broke. $16 trillion in debt. america is struggling like any other time in my adult life, and we have got to get our fiscal house in order, but how do you live in peace and prosperity with the rest of the world in flames? and if you want to pay $10 a
gallon for gas, turn the middle east over to these crazy nut jobs. so here's my view of what we should do. we should stay in this fight and we should do more things than just bomb people. we should help them help themselves. and the good news is most people appreciate our help, and what you see on tv is a result not of a film but of radical islamists taking advantage of a moment. the cultures are different. it's hard for people in the middle east to understand that a film could be made disrespecting islamic without the government approving of it, because in their world nothing gets done without the government approving of it. so it's important for us to say this has nothing to do with the united states government or the american people. this is a result of some crazy group of people who have what we call freedom of speech. it's uncomfortable, but that's
the way we are. so i think it is important to let the middle east know and muslims in general that that's the way we operate. we reject the disrespect shown to anyone's religion, and that is not who we are as a people, but free speech does exist here, and the reason we need to explain that is because in their world, they can't imagine something being done like this without the government blessing it. but having said that, there is no excuse in any society to do harm to another human being because of the way somebody speaks or acts unless it is an act of violence. so senator paul is proposing disengagement in three of the most volatile areas of the middle east at a time when it means the most, and the way he has written this amendment should make everyone pause and evaluate how you want to vote.
apac, which most of us are familiar with, has indicated that the way the amendment is written, if there is an act of violence against a u.s. interest in israel, maybe we would have to withdraw our aid to israel, but they have said they oppose the rand paul amendment because they know what happens to egypt if this thing must pass, if it were ever to become law. the treaty that senator mccain referred to as the camp david accords. israel and egypt had been living under a peace treaty for decades now, and part of the deal was that america would provide aid to egypt and israel. if we broke the agreement with egypt, they will break the treaty with israel. so do not tell me or anybody else that you support israel if you vote for this amendment, because one of two things are going on.
you have no idea what it means to support israel or you're trying to pull the wool over my eyes. it is impossible to say you support the security of the israeli nation if you vote for this amendment because it will lead to the breach of a treaty with one of their strongest neighbors, 80 billion people living in egypt. it will unravel, a delicate balance that existed for decades, and i will be recorded as having no part of that. imagine if this amendment passed, what would the chatter be on every islamic web site in the world, and by the way, if these people had a pact, they would be supporting this amendment. i know that rand paul is as patriotic as anybody in this body, but the fact of the matter is the crazy islamic, extremist
terrorists who try to kill us all would love nothing more than this to pass. they know they cannot win if we stay engaged helping people. so they're trying to drive us out because that's their best hope of winning the day. so if you want to empower the terrorists that exist in this world, pass this amendment because they will go crazy with hope and excitement about their tactics are working, and if you want to destroy the hope of everybody in the middle east who has been brave enough to stand up to these thugs and lose their family members, if you want to break their spirit, pass this amendment. if this amendment passes, good luck finding anybody anywhere in the world who will partner with us, who would be brave enough to stand up to these thugs and say you will not have my children's
future. if this amendment passed, america could never look anyone in the eye again in the middle east and say stand with me, you can count on me. so ladies and gentlemen, of the united states and my colleagues in the senate, i wish the world were not as screwed up as it is. i wish it would change and i hate the fact we have been at war and we spent so much money, but i'm telling you this right now. these are historic times in which we live in, and every time in history that good people were confronted with evil and they blinked, millions died, not thousands, and the only reason millions haven't died in the war on terror is the nut jobs who want to kill us all can't get a hold of the weapons to do it. and if you want to run to not get a nuclear weapon, if that bothers you that they may get a
nuclear weapon and throw the whole region into a nuclear arms race or share that technology with a terrorist organization to use it against us, then vote against this amendment because if this passed, what would the iranians think about america's resolve to deal with them? and the last thing i'm going to talk about is the vision of the author of this amendment, who honest to goodness is a friend but on this issue i think he is dead wrong. in his budget -- and he had the guts to write a budget, and i give him credit for that, but you need to look at the vision of the author of this amendment when it comes to our role in the world. in his budget, the american military's budget was reduced by 16% in the first year, and this foreign assistance account that i was talking about, which gives us a tool other than killing people, staying engaged and trying to build up their lives so they can live in peace with us, it's about $50 billion,
about 1% of the budget. under his proposal, it goes down to $5 billion after 2014 and frozen there forever. so i want to let you know that the author of this amendment believes that you can gut the military, and that's exactly what he does with military spending, take all the assets we have to help people off the table and we'll be safe. now, how in the world could somebody believe that given the times in which we live in, it's a good idea to take military spending below historic levels and disengage from the world and have absolutely no influence on nations other than trying to use military force? so i hope my colleagues will come to the floor and resist the temptation to do something that sounds good in a 30-second sound
bite. i know people are frustrated and war weary, and i know we're broke, and you would like to just leave everybody else alone, but they're not going to leave you alone. and look how much money we spent after 9/11. look what 20 people can do to this nation if we disengage from the world. so now i would like to ask a question of my colleague, senator chambliss, who is the ranking member of the intelligence committee, and i have asked this of the author: when you wrote this amendment, disengaging from libya, egypt and pakistan, which is a nuclear-armed nation, did you ask anybody in the intelligence community -- general david petraeus -- if there was ever a hero in modern times, that's him. have you ever asked him or senator chambliss or anybody else, oh, by the way, i'm thinking about pulling the plug on our aid to pakistan, egypt
and libya. what's your view of that? have you been asked that question? mr. chambliss: i thank my friend from south carolina as well as my friend from arizona with respect to the debate that they have been engaged in, for bringing this issue to the forefront, being willing to stand up and say, you know, foreign aid, if you talk about that in a coffee club in seneca, south carolina, or phoenix, arizona, or molte, georgia, is not the most popular topic. most people back home think we can balance the budget if we eliminate foreign aid. but the fact is, as senator graham said, it's a minuscule amount in the overall context. right now we're at a critical context with respect to our juncture with respect to any number of domestic, foreign policies. and as we go into the election the american people are going to have a choice to make. we're also at a crossroads with our foreign policy in this
country. all you have to do is pick up this morning's paper, turn on the tv today, and you see what's happening in countries that are the subject of this particular amendment. there are tens of thousands of people protesting in pakistan today. there are folks in egypt that are still protesting. there are folks in libya that are still protesting. we're ten days away from the ambassador to libya from the united states of america having been killed. we know that part of the world is in a turmoil. we know that part of the world also has been very critical to our fight against the war -- fight in the war on terrorism. and when the president of the united states is asked a question: is egypt an ally, and he can't answer that question affirmatively, that tells you what kind of foreign policy this particular president has. he doesn't know what his foreign policy is if he can't tell you
whether egypt is an ally. well, let me tell you, in spite of all that's happened in the last ten days -- and all of us still grieve for the loss of four very brave americans who put their life in harm's way as civilians to advocate what's in the best interest of our country. but i would assure you if ambassador stevens was here today he'd say the direction which senator paul's amendment is the wrong direction in which to go. i know what the intelligence community thinks about this. i know that the intelligence committee thinks in spite of our problems with pakistan and we've had our overt problems with pakistan over the last several months and couple of years. but the fact is we've got american soldiers in harm's way today in afghanistan who are
fighting to protect the freedoms of this country and who are fighting to make sure that we remain the safest, most secure country in the world. and you cannot decouple afghanistan and pakistan. it is very important that we maintain a strong relationship with pakistan, even though it is difficult and even though it is fractured. it's of critical importance that we maintain that relationship. it's important because of what's happening in afghanistan. but it's also very important for another reason. we had a debate in this body about a year ago on what's called the start treaty, which is a treaty that we have with russia for the elimination of certain nuclear weapons over a period of time. during the course of that debate, we talked about the elimination of russian nuclear weapons versus weapons in the united states, and that's good to a certain extent.
but none of us in this body who have any idea about intelligence around the world have a great fear of any country getting a hold of a icbm, a major intercontinental ballistic missile, sticking it in a sleeve somewhere and shooting it towards the united states. what we do have fear of is somebody getting a hold of what we call tactical nuclear weapons, sticking them in a suitcase and bringing them to the united states or putting them in a position to kill and harm americans. pakistan has tactical nuclear weapons. and as long as we maintain a strong relationship with them, as long as they are our ally, however you characterize that, then we have the ability to at least dialogue with respect to -- with the pakistanis with respect to their nuclear program. but even today -- and i'll close with this with respect to that issue. even today with all that's
happened over the last ten days and all the condemnation around the world from a democratic country, particularly within the united states, for the condemnation of what's happened and the consternation and appall at what's taking place from the standpoint of demonstrations in pakistan and in libya, the libyan government and the pakistani government have given us all the help that they can possibly give us, particularly in libya. that's a government in transition. it's a temporary government. and we need to make sure that the people of libya have the opportunity to hopefully have a democratic form of government one day. if we sever ties with them today, folks, that's over. and we can just make certain of the fact that we have one more territory, one more country where terrorists have the opportunity to be trained to kill and harm americans. with respect to pakistan, the
pak government has sent the palace guard to guard the embassy of the united states. that's their most elite troops. our relationship is frayed and it's fractured, but they are doing their level best to try to make sure that the americans that remain in pakistan are protected. and if we all of a sudden decide that we're going to cut them off from financial aid, is that going to improve the situation there? is it going to give us some sort of satisfaction? it may from the standpoint of folks who don't like the idea of foreign aid, period. but let me tell you, from a national security standpoint, it is simply the wrong thing to do. there will be one country that will gain from this. the country that will gain from this is the most notorious terrorist-sponsoring nation in the world, and that's iran. iran has a very powerful
presence in pakistan today. they want to have a powerful presence in libya. and i assure you that if we cut off the minimal amount of aid that's being talked about with this amendment, then we are simply fostering the ability of iran to have a larger voice and a larger presence in countries that are very fractious and very vulnerable today. so while i, in spirit i agree with my good friend, rand, senator paul, this is not the right time in the history of our country and not the right time in the history of the world to take action that is simply not in the best interest of the united states. mr. mccain: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from arizona. mr. mccain: in the last few days several interesting things have happened, and some of them tragic. of course, beginning with the tragic loss of our brave four americans and ambassador chris
stevens. and then the demonstrations that have taken place everywhere. but also, i remind my colleagues that there was a most sophisticated attack on one of the most heavily fortified installations in iraq. it was professional. it was carried out in a professional fashion. it resulted in $200 million worth of loss to the american taxpayer. the greatest single act of destruction since the tet offense back during the vietnam war. in iraq -- in afghanistan, because of the attacks of afghan soldiers on american soldiers, we've had to suspend the operations between the military and police, between the two countries. if there is ever an indicator of failure of our policy in afghanistan, it is our now
inability to even train with them to be ready to take over our -- the responsibilities that we now hold. there is no greater indication of the failure of the president of the united states to continue to tell not that we need -- the american people and the people of the world not that we need to succeed, not that we need to win, but that we need to withdraw. and so countries in the region have taken the lesson and have, are making accommodations. the fact is that we are now facing a collapse national security policy in the region, beginning, of course, with the assertion by the ambassador to the united nations that what happened with christopher stevens and the three others was -- quote -- "spontaneous." the present spokesperson saying the same thing. we knew it wasn't spontaneous. we know people don't bring heavy weapons and mortars and
rocket-propelled grenades to demonstrations spontaneously. this was a well-orchestrated, well-planned, well-executed act of murder of four brave americans. and now we blame it on the video. it's the video. it's not the video. the video is the vehicle of the radical islamists that they used. and don't think there won't be other vehicles. there are people now, i'm sure, all over the world that are making videos that muslims may find offensive. i found it offensive when there was a picture that i tha*eu won't even describe -- picture that i won't describe now back some years ago for the national endowment of the arts. we believe in freedom of speech. the first thing we should have said is americans cherish and have fought for these freedoms, including freedom of speech. very briefly, because i know my colleagues want to talk.
we've totally failed in iraq. today as we speak, iranian aircraft are overflying iraq to syria and delivering weapons to bashar assad. we were supposed to leave a residual force there. we didn't because then-senator obama, who said that the surge would fail, where he was completely wrong, now has said -- is now celebrating that we're out of iraq. they sentenced their vice president to death. the tensions between sunni shia and kurd have never been greater and al qaeda is on the rise in iraq. in the words of general keen, the architect of the surge, we won the war and lost the peace. when is the last time the president of the united states stood up and spoke on behalf of these people? it's impossible for me to understand why the president of the united states wouldn't at
least speak out against the murder, rape, torture that's going on and continues on and an unfair atpaoeud with bashar -- unfair fight with bashar assad, and of course every day that goes by more and more al qaeda infiltrate the country. in afghanistan, of course they know we're leaving. of course they are accommodating. the famous story of the taliban prisoner and the american officer and the taliban prisoner says you've got the watches. we've got the time. america is believed to be on the decline and weakening. and so mitt romney was right, the statement issued by the embassy in cairo was a semiapology which later the administration itself repudiated. this president does not believe in american exceptionalism. he does not believe in american
leadership. and we have just paid a very, very, very heavy price for our lack of leadership. leading from behind is not the role of america in the world, and appropriate lessons are being drawn from that all over the world. i'd ask my colleague from south carolina if he has any more comments? mr. graham: i yield now to senator baucus who wishes to speak. mr. mccain: we yield the floor. mr. baucus: i thank my friend from south carolina. i thank the senator from florida. i'll be very brief because i know other senators wish to speak. this last conversation i think is extremely important. northern africa, other arab countries are in a state of flux, to say the least.
the arab spring has caused lots of questions and propose found implications that we don't begin to now fathom. if those countries don't have executive governments that have any experience -- they have replaced tyrants who preceded them. these are muslim countries. many of the people who live in these countries feel that other parts of the world are wealthy and they have been put upon. after that, these are countries which in most respects have very, very high unemployment. and after that, most of the population, the demographics of these countries are such that close to half of the population are under the age of, say, 25 or maybe under 30, maybe even younger than that. it's a powder keg. and these are countries which really don't have the history and the culture of first amendment freedom of speech that
we have. i say all this, mr. president, because i urge all of us on both sides of the aisle to work together. it is an extremely complicated, complex situation. it used to be not too many years ago that politics stopped at the water's edge. it used to be that not too many years ago in foreign policy issues, because they're really nonpartisan, we as a country worked together. we faced the country -- the world as one voice. so i strongly caution my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to not make these -- this a partisan issue, that is, u.s. policy in the middle east, especially in this case northern africa but, rather, that we work together. it's so, so important. there's probably a reason why politics used to stop at the water's edge not too many years ago, and that made us -- because it made us a lot more effective
worldwide. again, i urge my colleagues not to be too critical of the other side of the aisle. it just gets us nowhere, it's dividing and conquering, and that puts us in a great point of weakness. mr. president, i rise on another matter and that's to recognize a very important event that will be occurring this sunday and monday. what is that? 89 world war ii veterans from the state of montana will take part in the big sky honor flight and come to washington, d.c., to visit their monument, the world war ii memorial. their trip is hosted by the big sky honor flight program. the mission is to recognize american veterans for their sacrifices and achievements by flying them to washington, d.c., to see their memorials at no cost. they raise money from montanans all across the state to make this possible. i've helped participate. at stake fries, et cetera.
and in today's society, their generosity, montanans' again generosity, in paying for these flights is really something special. and don't forget, it has to be two tickets -- one for the person and one for the person helping the vet because these world war ii vets are -- have been around several years and they on which need a little bit of assistance. one of the passengers on sunday's flight is a 102-year-old. his name is dr. mcdonald w. held of billings, montana. 102 years old. don's had a remarkable life. he's been a united states air force intelligence worker, a professor, an author, a minist minister, and a college president. don was born in 1909. what was going on in 1909? well, that year president taft was inaugurated as the 27th president. the u.s. army received its first delivery from the wright brothers. congress passed the homestead
act which resulted in a large influx of settlers all across the west, including my state of montana. don graduated from baylor university in 1933 with a degree in speech. although he earned his master's and doctoral degrees from northwestern university, don's heart remained at baylor. he wears a baylor workout suit every monday, wednesday and friday when he exercises at the billings ymca. remember, don's 102 years old. during world war ii, don served in the air force as an intelligence officer in the philippines. after the peace treaty was signed, he was stationed in tokyo. he worked just a couple buildings down from general douglas macarthur. after the war, don embarked on his career in academics. he served at hour payne university as a professor there in 1955-1964, presided over the speech and theater department, and served as academic dean. don then worked for seven years
at waylon baptist university before moving to billings, montana. in billings, he became the first head of the speech and theater department at the eastern montana college that we now know as montana state universit university-billings. at age 74, don was ordained as a minister in the baptist church. he has ministered in three churches in montana, also served as president of the yellowstone baptist bible institute, now the yellowstone baptist college. don and his wife beverly have five children, five grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren -- so far -- as his son don jr., a veteran of the vietnam war, will escort him to washington this sunday. this is a special weekend for this group of heroes. believe me, i was here when the last honor flight came in. i cannot remember a time when i've been so, so touched by -- by people when you see these world war ii vets, some men and
most of them men and women, they're just talking about their experiences. they just -- they're the greatest generation, as has been mentioned before, especially by tom brokaw. it's time to give them thanks for their courage, time to give them thanks for their sacrifice. they've done so much. and it's time to reflect on all the sacrifices they've made. just think of it. the battles of europe, korea, jungles of vietnam, deserts of iraq and those who are currently fighting in the mountains of afghanistan. we must not forget them. please join me in welcoming our montana heroes to washington this weekend. i'm going to be down there and i know many others will too. mr. president, i yield the floor. and i thank again my good friend from south carolina. mr. graham: absolutely. mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: i'd like unanimous consent to speak in morning business for the next hour. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. graham: thank you.
mr. president, we're going to have a nice discussion between republicans and democrats about an important issue. if you're looking for bipartisanship, your ship has come in, s. j. resolution 41 has 82 cosponsors. i'm not sure we could get 82 of us to agree that sunday should be a day off, but we've done it when it comes to the concept of not allowing the iranian ayatollahs to not possess a nuclear weapon and try to contain them. so senate joint resolution 41 has 82 cosponsors. mr. president, you're one of them. to my democratic colleagues, senator blumenthal, coons, menendez, casey. senator casey was the first one to step up. senator lieberman. there's just been a real joy to work in a bipartisan fashion over something that really matters, that is a time for the senate to speak. it is now regarding iran's desire to get a nuclear weapon. president obama has rejected containing a nuclear armed iran
as a national strategy. mr. president, you're dead right on that. i know governor romney agrees. so what i would like to do is recognize my good friend from georgia, senator isakson, and we have senator ayotte here to share their thoughts. and i will be speaking a bit later, then certainly work senator blumenthal, who's been one of the real leading voices on the democratic side for this resolution. so at this time, i'd like to recognize senator isakson. mr. isakson: i thank the distinguished senator from south carolina. the presiding officer: the senator from georgia. mr. isakson: thank you, mr. speaker -- mr. president. i want to, before he leaves, i'd like to ack nooj toda acknowledy may be one of the more important days on foreign policy that takes place in the united states senate. because whichever way the paul resolution goes and this resolution goes is going to determine the direction america goes in terms of foreign policy. are we engaged? are we firm? are we the greatest power on the face of this earth? or do we recede, as we did prior to world war ii, and put our nation in yep i did again?
i don't vote for receding. i think it's time to be strong. if there was ever a position to be strong on, it's nuclear proliferation and the possibility of iran possessing nuclear fissionable material to make a wet. so i want to commend senator graham for his leadership on armed forces, his leadership on this issue and his leadership on the floor of the united states senate. he is a beacon of hope in a body that needs it right now. and i want to also commend him for getting 82 cosponsors. i agree with him. we could not agree that sunday's a day of rest if we had to have a vote on it. but to get 82 people to come together and join to send a clear message, not just to the iranians, but to the world that a nuclear-armed iran is not acceptable and containing one would not be the policy. we need to have a policy of prevention. and that's what this resolution does. it doesn't just say to iran, we want to prevent you from having nuclear fissionable material and a weapon. it encourages the world to joan together to prevent it. mr. president, ten days ago i was in germany meeting with the foreign minister of germany, meeting with the e.u. minister
of finance and meeting with the defense minister of germany. do you know what the number-one question of all three of them was? it wasn't the problems with the e.u., although they have them. it was iran and what was going to happen if they ended up possessing fissionable nuclear material and a weapon. so this resolution is an important statement of the united states of america, but moreover, the world. and i think it will be replicated in parliamentary bodies around the world to send that united signal. and we are close to a time when we're going to have to fish or cut bait. the iranians have continued to work. we have pretty good knowledge but not total knowledge. one of the problems the germans had, the iaea thinks they know where the sent fewers are and where they are are but they're not sure. they think there hasn't been movement but in some cases there may have been. we need to get clarity. and we need to get clarity through united nations or through whatever body possible to see to it we have total transparency. and in the absence of that, they need to understand that our goal
is to prevent them from ever possessing a weapon that could destroy humanity. the nation of iran states clearly and often and tells the world that it yearns for the day it destroys the nation of israel and the jewish people. no entity, none whatsoever, that would make a statement like that deserves the ability to have enriched uranium or any other tool to actually carry out what it says is its stated goal. so i rise today as one georgian but as one of millions and millions of americans to send a clear and unvarnished message to the people of iran. we want you -- we want the people of iran to know freedom and democracy, to be released from the tyranny of the eye of e ayatollahs and the current totalitarian government. but that we will not stand one minute or one iota for iran to possess fissionable material to be used in a weapon to end all of man. and again, i acknowledge the
distinguished senator from south carolina, and i yield the floor. mr. graham: mr. president, one, i want to thank, senator isakson, who so the foreign relations committee. he's a ranking member on the african subcommittee and he has really, quite frankly, opened my eyes to what we're doing in africa with -- a little bit of money goes a long way in africa trying to prevent radical islamists from taking over the continent of africa, combating the chinese, who are trying to buy up all the resources and using american taxpayer dollars to create an environment and create jobs back here at home. and, quite frankly, save thousands, if not millions, of young children from certain death, from aids and malaria. johnny is just i think everything right about being a senator in that regard and i appreciate him coming down here today. if the senator from new hampshire doesn't mind, can we go to our good friend, senator blumenthal? i've had the pleasure of going to egypt with and all these other hot spots and i just really have enjoyed working with him on this resolution. this started with a meeting in our offices, an idea to try to
back up what president obama said about not containing nuclear-armed iran. and the next thing you know, we're on the floor of the senate with 82 cosponsors. so my good friend from connecticut, senator blumenthal. mr. blumenthal: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut. mr. blumenthal: thank you, mr. president. i want to begin by thanking my colleague and friend from south carolina who has so eloquently and powerfully stated the case for this resolution. but even before discussing resolution 41, i want to thank him and our colleagues who spoke today on the floor about the rand paul resolution. i think that this morning's debate -- and i listened to it for all three hours because i was presiding at the time -- really mashed one of the finest moments -- really marked one of the finer moments of my brief 21 months as a member of the united states senate. what i saw this morning was an articulate, thoughtful and
courageous statement against a resolution that would do grave harm to this nation's national interests if it became law and if it bound the united states government and cut off aid to these countries. i think that the case stated was courageous because it very likely may prove unpopular with some elements of their own par party, to put very bluntly, the political reality here. but i think it was one of the finer moments of this body because it marked a point of clarity and a clear recognition for the need to come together as a nation when our national interests are threatened, when our national security is at stake, when the harm to this nation requires acting together.
and so i'm hoping that this spirit of bipartisanship will also come together, as it has so far with 82 cosponsors on the resolution that -- that we have sponsored, senate resolution 41. and it began, as senator graham has rightly observed, with the leadership of a handful of senators. he was one of the key leaders. so were senator lieberman, senator ayotte, senator hoeven, senator casey, senator menendez. i was proud to be among them. and the spirit of bipartisanship and the strength of that spirit, i think, was really extraordinary. here is what we know. and at a time of confusion and
obfuscation in many respects when foreign policy is concerned, knowing with certainty some of the facts here is very important. we all know from the international atomic energy agency that as of november, 2011, iran had produced approximately 5,000 kilograms of uranium, enriched up to 3.5%. we know also that this iranian regime is the most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world, according to our department of state. we know that this regime has repeatedly expressed its desire -- and i'm quoting -- to wipe israel off the face of the earth. wipe israel off the map. we know that this regime has provided weapons and training to hamas, hezbollah and militias in iraq that murder civilians and
spread terror. and we know that it has already actively, consistently provided aid to the assad regime in syria in its brutal and unconscionable repression of its own people, the murders and torture that have occurred directly linked to iran. we know that the iranian government has succeeded in developing nuclear weapons. if it does, it will lead to an arms race in that part of the world, as threatening as any other potential harm to this nation. and we know that iran would create access for terrorists, access for them to these nuclear weapons, making the middle east a nuclear tinderbox. we cannot trust this regime.
we know that fact beyond any potential doubt. iran's nuclear program is of extraordinarily grave concern, not only to nations in that part of the world but to all nations everywhere that want peace, and that is why an international coalition has come together with the leadership of the united states of america. iran cannot be permitted to continue its nuclear program to a point where it is capable of making a nuclear weapon. and despite repeated calls for it to suspend or stop this program, we know with certainty. iranian leaders show no signs, none of waiting or wanting to halt their program to build nuclear weapons. in fact, recent intelligence
shows that they're continuing to enrich uranium and develop nuclear facilities, and that is why we need senate resolution 41. no question that the administration under president obama has repeatedly affirmed his commitment to such a policy. the president has made this position, the position of the united states absolutely clear. i'm quoting president obama. quote -- "iran's leaders should understand that i do not have a policy of containment. i have a policy to prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons." that is the message of senate resolution 41. that is the message that we must convey as a nation together from all parties, all parts of the united states, all interests that time is limited, time is limited to keep iran from
acquiring a nuclear weapons capability so this resolution calls for increased pressure on iran to come into compliance with the united states security rugses. and this resolution -- security resolutions. and this resolution builds on my efforts scaling for successful talks that would lead iran to halt its nuclear program. this resolution says to the world that the united states and the governments of other responsible natio have a vital mutual interest in working together to prevent iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon capability. let us underscore the word and recognize its importance. a nuclear weapons capability. many of us -- and i have done so -- have written multiple times to president obama outlining a framework that would
lead to successful negotiations, and my hope is that the combination of strict international sanctions and international condemnation of a nuclear armed iraq will convince that government to desist and cease its program of nuclear weapons capability building. it's not in our interests, it's not in the world's interests. ultimately, it's not in that regime's interests. but if sanctions fail, we must be prepared to act. and so this resolution expresses the resolution and the resoluteness of this body. and i'm hopeful that sanctions will work, but if the government of iran is unconvinced by this very compelling case, it must
know that this issue is not a partisan one, it's not one on which we are divided. we stand together, we stand strong, we are resolute and resilient, and the united states and its allies will join together to prevent a nuclear-armed iran. again, i want to thank the senator from south carolina. all of the colleagues that have joined, all 82 who have joined as cosponsors. we began with a handful, but the compelling power and persuasiveness of the need for this resolution i think is carrying the day, and i again yield to the senator from south carolina, my good friend and the leader in this effort. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: i want to thank senator blumenthal for those articulate words about the resolution and the kind comments he made toward myself.
the other senator from connecticut, senator lieberman, was on the ground floor of this effort, like he is on everything, that deals with constructive foreign policy in the country, but one of the original partners we had in trying to get this thing going was senator ayotte from new hampshire who is a freshman senator but who has quickly hit the ground running and i think has become really a strong voice on national security. with that, mr. president, i would like to yield her whatever time she may consume. the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire. ms. ayotte: thank you, mr. president. i first want to thank my colleague from south carolina who has really led the effort on this incredibly important resolution. i would also like to thank my colleague from connecticut, senator blumenthal, for his leadership on this issue. the bipartisan nature of this resolution tells you very clearly that this really is the policy of this congress and how important this issue is for our
country. this resolution will ensure that we give a clear message to iran that it is not our policy, that we will not accept the world, the world will not accept, the united states will not accept if iran acquires the capability of having a nuclear weapon, because we understand that it will make the middle east a very more dangerous place than it is now, causing an arms race there. in addition, it will also cause us to be in a position where one of our strongest allies in the middle east, israel, is threatened with annihilation because that's exactly what the iranian regime has said, and most importantly it will endanger our own country if iran acquires the capability and acquires a nuclear weapon of having a nuclear weapon because iran is incredibly hostile to the united states of america. they participate with various
terrorist groups, including hezbollah, and one of the greatest risks we face is that the regime itself wouldn't use the nuclear weapon, they would just give it to a terrorist group that could hit any one of our allies and also use it in a position to harm us and our country, and then the world, of course, changes. so we cannot allow this to happen, and this is very important to have 82 senators sponsoring this. i want to talk briefly as well about the paul amendment that is pending before this body because this amendment and how we act on it, as my colleague from georgia so eloquently said, will define what is the policy and the foreign policy of the united states of america. and i want to state my strong opposition to the paul amendment because i'm very concerned that if we pass the paul amendment,
then we are sending the very message to the radical elements, the radical islamists and the terrorists of the world what they want to hear from us, which is that we will withdraw. let's be clear what their goal is when they attack us. they don't want us to be engaged. they would like the middle east to become a seventh century taliban style government throughout that is a threat to our country. and in my view, for us to now withdraw, to put ourselves in a position where, for example, the amendment is so broadly drafted that even if one of our allies' embassies were attacked, like israel or another one of our allies were attacked, would send the absolute wrong message and would be to the detriment of the safety of the united states of america. i understand that my colleague, senator paul, is well intentioned, but every time we
have withdrawn, people have died and the world has not become safer, and the battle comes here. we don't want the battle to be here. we want any of these elements to not be in our country. we can't forget what happened to us on september 11, and unfortunately, as my colleagues have eloquently stated before, our only tools can't be our military. the reason we have so many of our military leaders standing up and former military leaders saying that they oppose the paul amendment is because they understand that by engaging with these countries through the small foreign aid budget that we have, we can prevent conflict. we can actually be in a position where we are engaged and we are sending the message to the radical islamist terrorists that no, the united states of america
cannot -- you cannot back us up, you cannot put us in a position where you can bring the battle to our soil, we will not be defeated by you, and i think that if we were to pass this amendment, no matter how well-intentioned from my colleague, we would only be empowering those radical elements. so i would urge my colleagues to vote against the paul amendment, and i also think it very much relates to this containment resolution for the following reasons. we see iran right now ignoring what is -- ignoring what the u.n. has asked of it, ignoring what good people of the world want to have happen in syria. in fact, iran is supporting hezbollah, it's arming and training assad's forces in syria, they are providing weapons to insurgents in afghanistan who are killing our troops.
they are engaged with radical elements in iraq. and if you look at the whole course of events, can you imagine iran will cheer if we pass, i think -- believe me, if we pass an amendment that we would say that somehow we would back off to our commitment to pakistan, our commitment to egypt and our commitment to libya. and other areas around the world, god forbid, one of our other allies, their embassies were attacked. and most importantly, iran would cheer because if the paul amendment is passed, it would be, as my colleagues have said, actually breaking the camp david accord where we agreed as a country to provide aid to egypt. that would make israel less safe, and there is nothing more in the world that the regime in iran wants than to have israel be less safe. in fact, they have stated very, very clearly, that regime, that their goal is to annihilate
israel from the face of the earth. we cannot allow them to get a nuclear weapon. they are marching closer and closer to this capability. senator blumenthal told you about the enrichment of the uranium. this is not the level of enrichment you use for a power plant. it's being enriched to have the capability of having a nuclear weapon. they have created more and more centrifuges, despite us asking them to stop, despite the sanctions we have put in place, all for the possibility of them having that nuclear weapon that they could use that would change the world, and what they have said about our friend israel, that they would seek to annihilate israel. the world is a very dangerous place. if we allow iran to acquire a nuclear weapon, this is a game changer for the world. that's why this amendment is so
incredibly important, and i very much appreciate the leadership on both sides of the aisle in support of this amendment and my colleague from south carolina for bringing this forward, because we need to tell the world that we are not going to allow this game changer to happen. and iran needs to hear a very clear message from us as a congress backing up our president that we will not allow for the containment of a nuclear-armed iran for the safety of the world. and finally, let our friends in israel know when prime minister netanyahu said on september 16 "those in the international community who refuse to put red lines before iran don't have a moral right to place a red light before israel." please know our friends in israel that by passing this resolution, we stand with you, that we will work with you to make sure that that tyrannical
regime in iran never gets that weapon of mass destruction that could very much change the safety of the middle east, the safety of your country as well as our own country and the world. with that, i yield the floor back to my colleague from south carolina. mr. graham: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: i thank senator ayotte for helping get this process going and being on the floor and her strong voice on national security. i'd like to recognize my friend from tennessee, senator corker. he's on the foreign relations committee and is moving up the ladder, will be chairman and ranking member, depending on how the election comes out. no matter how it comes out, bob will be there talking about instructive engagement and guarding the taxpayer dollar. i'd like for him now to be able to speak to us, his thoughts about the rand paul amendment and the noncontainment of a nuclear-capable iran. mr. corker: thank you, mr. president. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee.
mr. corker: i want to thank the great senator from south carolina, where i was born. i do want to say the committee makes those decisions. i don't want anybody to be jumping the gun on the kind of statements made earlier about future situations. i do want to speak, though, to both the amendment you brought forth on iran. i want to thank you for that. i want to thank you for the tremendous work that you've done to bring so many of us on as cosponsors. and i think it's a really strong signal to iran, but also people in the neighborhood about our beliefs. so thank you very much for that. i want to speak mainly, though, about the paul amendment. first of all, i want to say to the senator from kentucky, i understand the sentiments that drive people to look at foreign aid the way that a lot of people around this country are looking at it today. i want to remind people that our total foreign aid budget is 1% of what we spend each year, but that doesn't mean we need to look at it in a very different way.
and so we haven't done an authorization bill on foreign aid since i've been here. i've been here almost six years now. i know we have the senator from south carolina is the ranking member on foreign ops and i know they spend a lot of time looking at things in an appropriate way. but there's no question that as a body we should be looking more closely at how we generate foreign aid to other countries. and i hope we're going to be doing that after this next congress when we begin to function and hopefully in a much better way. i do want to say, though, the purpose of foreign aid at the end of the day in many cases is to keep our men and women in uniform from having to be deployed in other places because of unrest that's against our national interests. i would like to point that out. in this particular case, really in pointing out libya, egypt and pakistan, i would just like to point out three things. number one, in libya, the people of libya are very thankful for
our intervention. and because people have come in and created a travesty in benghazi around our consolate there, these are people that are trying to undermine what we're doing there. the way the paul amendment is drafted, if terrorists in any country that we are aiding happen to do something at one of our embassies or consolates, then we withdraw aid. so what that means is that basically terrorists, people like al qaeda, the taliban and other groups are basically deciding what we're going to do as it relates to foreign aid. that would be a real big step for the united states senate to say that in the future everything that we do relating to foreign aid will be determined by terrorists. i just don't think that's what we want to do as a body. so let me set libya aside and say this was obviously something that wasn't a popular movement. it was done by premeditated
terrorists. it was terrible. we all love chris stevens and thank him for the work that he had done for our nation. but this is not the way for us to react in a country that's trying to evolve into hopefully a functioning democracy and somebody down the road that hopefully in some way will create even more stability in that part of the world. so let's move to egypt. i sat down with the military leaders there, and one of the things we continued to talk about was the camp david accord. the aid that we send to egypt is to reinforce in many ways the camp david accord that is very important to israel, which is one of our major allies, one of the biggest allies we have in the world. so, i don't know why we would decide we would cut off all aid, which would totally undermine the camp david accord, which would totally undermine the
security of a country that is one of our biggest allies. do we need to take into account the response in egypt to what happened at our embassy? i think we should, and i think it should affect the negotiations that we have with them regarding our foreign aid. let's face it, we've had decades of relationships with their military. and even though there have been a lot of changes in the country, the military is still there. and candidly, they didn't respond exactly the way we'd like for them to respond. a great ally. the president was a little hesitant to respond. i understand the fine line that he's walking. he's just been elected. i understand the country really hasn't been through this process. and i understand that he didn't respond exactly the way that we would expect him to respond. he since that time has, but i still think it should affect our negotiations and we ought to go slow. and it's my understanding that the senator from south carolina, working with his counterpart,
have taken those things into account as it relates to this next year. and i thank them for that. in egypt, it looks to me like we are slowing this down a little bit. we're making sure the relationship that we have with egypt is appropriate under the circumstances. and i thank the senator for helping make that happen. but withdrawing all aid would basically undermine totally the camp david accord, which most of us in this body believe to be something that's very important. so let me move to pakistan. pakistan is a place where probably most of us are most disappointed. we understand the relationship that the intelligence agencies in pakistan have with the network and that's been disappointing. we understand the trouble we've had trying to close down some of the ammonium nitrate plants that are there actually helping
create some of the i.e.d.'s that are used to dismember and harm and kill our men and women in uniform in afghanistan. we're disappointed in a lot of things in pakistan. obviously one of the most disappointing things, one of the things most difficult for us to understand is the treatment of this physician who aided us with osama bin laden. yet, there is a legal process that's underway there. and i think we sometimes forget that that is also underway. and there's a court of law there. and hopefully that will have an outcome that ends up showing that it's been handled in a judicious way. but let me just speak to pakistan. we're getting ready to leave afghanistan. we're going to have all of our troops out of afghanistan, a big part of our troops out of afghanistan by 2014. i met yesterday with general demsey. he was telling me that in order to meet that time line, we had to move a truckload of equipment
out of afghanistan every seven minutes between now and the end of 2014. every seven minutes. well, what is the major route that we use to move our equipment out of afghanistan? pakistan. now, if we want to cut our nose off to spite our face, i would say let's close off that route. let's create enmity between us, more enmity that already exists. i think most of us realize we have a very transactional h.r. h.r. -- transactional oriented relationship with pakistan. not quite the way most of us would like it to be. but the fact is there are a lot of things there that have to do with the safety of our men and women in uniform. because if you have to take another route out in getting all of this equipment and material out of there, you're probably going to take a route that doesn't work quite as well for our men and women in uniform.
again, i understand the sentiment. our phone is ringing off the hook with people who share the same sentiment. and i understand it. when you see on television people are rising up in these nations against us -- by the way, these countries are not mono lithic, not unlike here. we've got groups like occupy wall street that are able to express themselves, but they don't really represent my viewpoint. but these countries are in some ways like ours. you have people who protest and do things. that doesn't mean the whole country feels that way. these are countries that have had strong men leading their countries in some places and aren't used to understanding what it means to be able to express yourself. they don't understand how to operate in a society that's more open than it's been in the past. so i don't think that certainly -- that certainly doesn't quell my strong feelings
about what's happened in benghazi, nor does it for anyone else here, i'm sure. but the fact is that we need to look at foreign aid in a different way. i think we've taken some steps to do that. we need to continue to improve. we need to make sure that there's accountability. what i do know is the paul amendment is not the way to do it. again, i appreciate the energy that the senator has brought to this body and the many good points that he brings forth. but i know this: we do not want an amendment to pass that says that if terrorists attack an embassy or consolate, anyplace around the world, aid is taken from that country. i do not want a terrorist determining what our relationship is going to be with that country. and i think all of us know that our withdrawal from the middle east will leave us in a place, in a world that is vastly unsafe for our citizens, for people around the world.
and while i know that our engagement needs to continue and evolve, i know that this amendment is not the way to make that happen. i strongly oppose it, and i will vote against it if we ever get a vote on this amendment. and with that, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. graham: i want to thank senator corker for a very good country-by-country explanation, kind of a big-picture rational approach to what we're trying to do. i understand that senator paul's convictions; a lot of americans are frustrated, we're broke, why are we giving money to overseas who hate us? they all don't hate us. some do, some don't. let's invest in the ones we want to live with and stand up to the ones who want to kill us all. one more word about the world we live in. we could get hit in the next minute. we could get hit today. we could get hit tomorrow. they're trying to get here as desperately as they can. thank god for every day we've survived without being attacked
on our homeland. one of the reasons we've been effective after 9/11 is we're in their backyard. we're deployed over there not just with military force but with assistance. we're making their life more difficult in raising money and operating and being able to maneuver. and to get to america now to attack us is harder than it was on september 10, 2001, because we're engaged in the fight. and if you withdraw aid, you take one of the most valuable tools off the table -- and there has to be more tools in the tool kit than just bombing people or disengaging from the world. so this 1% of the budget is a godsend to those in the military. and now, i turn back to s.j. resolution 41. senator hoeven from north dakota was my first republican cosponsor of the idea you cannot contain a nuclear-capable iran. and i cannot tell you how much i appreciate his leadership. so i yield to senator hoeven. the presiding officer: the
senator from north dakota. mr. hoeven: thank you, mr. president. i'd like to thank the senator from south carolina for his leadership on this incredibly important issue and also express my appreciation for the senator from tennessee and my agreement with his remarks. i thought he was right on with what he said. and i support what he had to say. i'm very pleased to be a cosponsor on senate joint resolution 41 with senator graham. he is knowledgeable on this issue. he is dedicated -- he has dedicated an incredible amount of time and commitment to this effort. recently, i was with senator graham and senator mccain and others, and we were in afghanistan, and then we were in egypt where we met with the muslim brotherhood and then we were in israel, where we met with prime minister netanyahu, then we were in libya, where we
met with a number of the militia groups that now control some things, and we were in tunisia as well. and i have to say, it is incredibly important that we had the opportunity to go to those countries. senator graham has been there many times, as has senator mccain. but it's very important that we understand what's going on, and some of the comments that senator corker expressed are so true. we've got to understand what's going on in these countries. at the same time, we have to communicate with these countries as they tra try to build democracies. but we must be clear and consistent in our foreign policy that we support our friends, we support our allies, and we will oppose our opponents. and that we demand safety for our embassies and for americans
abroad. we provide no less to the people that come to our country, and we expect the same in return. now, senate joint resolution 41 is a bipartisan effort, and i want to express that again. that is so important. it is a bipartisan effort. 80 senators standing together and expressing their support, bringing this resolution to the senate floor, and saying to the administration, we need to take a tough stand with iran. we cannot allow iran to develop nuclear weapons. it is not an option. containment -- a nuclear iran contained is not an option. it doesn't work. look what's going on in the middle east right now. in egypt, in libya, tunisia, yemen, across the middle east right now you've got extremist groups, fundamental islamic extremist groups that are undermining the democratic efforts in those countries. look at the attacks on our
embassy. look at the killing of our ambassador. we cannot allow that, and we can only prevent that through strength, through strength. so we've got to stand up for america's interests in all of these countries, and we've got to prevent a nuclear iran. iran is helping the extremists throughout all of these countries, supporting bashar assad in syria, hezbollah, hamas, all these groups that are undertaking violence throughout the middle east, not only against the americans but against their own people, undermining these democracy. the way that we help stop that and the way we help support freedom and democracy is through a strong, consistent foreign policy. and that's what this resolution on a bipartisan basis is all about, is saying to the administration we must stand up to iran and we must prevent iran from getting nuclear weapons. and if iran were to develop a nuclear weapon, that could also start a race for other countries in the middle east to develop
nuclear capability, look at the unstable situation there now. it is certainly not a situation where nuclear weapons can be added to the equation as well. we have worked in the senate, in the house to provide tools to the administration to put sanctions in place to prevent iran from developing a nuclear weapon. the kirk-menendez legislation, which was passed as part of the defense authorization bill, provides strong sanctions against iran that still haven't been fully implemented. the best way to stop iran from getting a nuclear weapon is through sanctions. all options have to be on the table. we must support israel in whatever action israel determinedetermines it must tako defend itself. all options must be on the table as well. but the best way to stop iran, if we can, is with sanctions, but the only way that's going to work is if they are fully
imposed to the full extent possible. let me use kirk-menendez as an example. what did that legislation provide? that legislation provided a tool to the administration which essentially barred any company or country that does business with iran or its central bank from doing business with the central banking system in the united states. that is an effective tool because if iran can't sell its tool, it can't continue to function. we must fully impose those sanctions. we must stand strong with our closest friend and ally, israel, in the region. this resolution is a bipartisan message to our administration saying, stand strong. we can and we must prevent iran from getting nuclear weapons. with that, mr. president, i see our -- the majority leader and the minority leader are on the floor, and i will turn the floor
back to the esteemed senator from south carolina and thank the chair. mr. graham: mr. president, could i have just two minutes to wrap up before i turn this over. i want to thank senator reid and senator mcconnell for scheduling this vote. 82 senators stand behind president obama's statement that it's bad policy to contain a nuclear-capable iran. let me tell you right quickly why. if the iranians get a nuclear weapon or nuclear capability, the sue knee arab states will -- the sunni-arab states will want one themselves and you'll have a nuclear arms race in the middle east. that's the road to armageddon. israel will never know a moment's peace. if the ayatollahs in iran have a nuclear weapon, my god, what would living in israel be like? that's a no-go for the people of israel. the big concern i have above all else is that the ayatollahs will share that nuclear capability, that technologies, with a terrorist group and the only reason thousands have died in the war on terror, not millions,
they just can't get the weapons to kill millions of us. if the ayatollahs had those nuclear weapons or that nuclear capability, they'd share it with terrorists. that's why containment is not a good idea. this is not an authorization to use force. it encourages sanctions, diplomats, it says all options on the table. it is not authorizing force but it is taking off the table the idea that the iranians can get a nuclear weapon and will try to contain them because that's just an empty pandora's box. an israelly soldier was killed today because the border between egypt and israel was breached. part of our aid to egypt has conditions that says if you break the treaty with israel, you lose the money. the egyptian army is moving back in. if you care about security of israel, we cannot break relations with egypt. it is a complicated relationship, but it is in our interest to be involved. again, we're all over the world
in different fashions, and i'd rather be helping people help themselves than having to send soldiers in every time there's a hot spot in the world. we can't disengage from the world. it is our destiny to be the leader of the free world. just do it smartly. 1% of our budget is spent on foreign assistance i think makes sense. with that, i'll yield the floor and thank all of my colleagues for jumping on board for a resolution that i think is timely and if the senate of the united states ever needed to speak with one voice 0en a single topic -- on a single topic, it is now. iyou will not build out to get a nuclear weapon, period. with that, i yield the floor. mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that at 11:00 p.m. this
evening, there will be 30 minutes of debate divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees, following the use or yielding back of time, the senate proceed to votes in relation to the following items in order listed blow. passage of is $3576, s.j. res. 41, cloture on h.j. res. 11. if cloture is unvoked on h.j. res. 117, the pending amendments being wrawrng the senate proceed to passage of h.j. res. 117. following that vote, the senate proceed to the cloture on the motion to proceed to s. 3525. if cloture is not invoked on h.j. res. 11, the senate proceed to the cloture on the motion to proceed to s. 35256789 the vote on passages of s. 3576 be suability to a 60-affirmative vote threshold. s. 3576 is not achieved 60 affirmative votes, it will be returned to the calendar. following the cloture on the motion to proceed to s. 3525, the majority leader be recognized, finally, that no
amendments, motions, or points of order be in order to consideration of these measures. i would ask that the last paragraph that i read, mr. president, following the cloture, and the motion to proceed to s. 3525, that i be recognized at 11:30 and that during the pendency of this matter, there be no amendments, motions, points of order in order to consideration of any of these measures. it all begins at 11:30. mr. president, i would also ask that the -- usually we have a 15-minute vote for the first one. but i think with the time, i would like all votes to be ten-minute votes. i ask consent that that be the case. between each measure, there be two minutes equally divided, for the sponsors and those opposing the legislation can speak on them. the presiding officer: without
objection. is there objection? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: mr. president, the agreement paves the way for completion of the remaining business before the work period. it is going to be a very early morning or late night, however you look at t but it is the right thing tovmentd i expect that upon completion of the scheduled votes and motion to proceed to proceed to the sportsmen's bill would be postcloture. after we address that bill when we return in november and intend to move to senator menendez's housing bill. i will be in touch with the republican leader more times -- several times before the election i'm sure anyway. the presiding officer: the majority leader.
mr. reid: everyone should understand that what we're going to try to do this evening, we have subpoena -- i have spoken with the republican leader. when people finish their talking, we hope it can be early this evening, we would go into recess and hopefully we can do that 5:00, 6:00 tonight until 11:30 tonight. i hope that can be done. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from kentucky. mr. paul: we have before us a resolution on containment of iran. i have voted for sanctions on iran and don't think it is a good idea that iran have nuclear weapons. however, i'm very concerned
about this particular resolution. i think a vote for this resolution is a vote for the concept of preemptive war. i know of no other way to interpret this resolution. the resolution says that containment, the strategy of trying to prevent expansion or invasion of countries, will never be our policy with regard to iran. while i think it unwise to announce that we will contain iran, i do think it unwise to tell iran, oh, it's fine to get a nuclear weapon, we'll contain you, i think it is equally unwise to say we'll never contain you. the reason i say that is we woke up one day and pakistan had a nuclear weapon. we woke up one day and russia had nuclear weapons, china, india, north korea. had we made the statement, the rash statement that we will never contain any country that has nuclear weapons, what does
that mean? i think that means that you've decided, right now before anything hangar happens, you'ved that you will preemptively go to war. we've been at war for a decade now. we've been at war in afghanistan, and i supported going to afghanistan. but i'm ready to come home from afghanistan. we were at war in irk fo iraq fr nearly 10 years. i'm glad we're coming home from iraq. but i don't want to automatically commit our country to a war in iran. so while i do think it is a mistake to say we won't contain them, i think it is also a misstalk to say that we will contain them. it is a mistake to have a policy that is explicit one way or the other. president reagan was once criticized and accused of having no foreign policy. he replied that it wasn't that he had no foreign policy; it was that he didn't care to share it with everyone. because if you give everyone --
your potential enemies or friends -- if you say to every country, if you do "x" i'll do "x" or if you do this i'll to that you're exposing exactly what your plans are and that may not be the best strategy. in other words, foreign policy is an ever-shifting battleground and there should be a certain strategic ambiguity to foreign policy. so when we announce to iran or to the world that we will never, ever contain iran, it's an announcement that the bombs will be dropping if we ever hear that they're a nuclear power. i don't think -- i don't think we should say automatically we're willing to accept them as a nuclear power but i don't think we should automatically say there will be a preemptive war with iran. now, everybody's been bragging, they say, oh, everybody in the senate is for this. everybody's not. i'm not for this.
i may be alone on this. but interestingly, if you travel to israel, there's a very spirited debate on this. meyer dagan, the head of the mossad cares deeply about israel, would not be accused of being a shrinking violet. he's done many things to prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon. he's worried what happens the minute the bombs start dropping on iran. where do you think the next bombs come? on tel aviv. not in the u.s. if you live in tel aviv, you might have some concerns over what happens and what does iran do. the other thing about beginning a war is historically our country we have had defensive wars. nobody messes with us, and i agree with that. you mess with the united states and there will be significant repercussions. we won't let you invade other countries and won't let you invade the united states. the idea we will have offensive
war and not defensive war is a concept that is new in our history. preemptive war, going to war and saying we will go to war to prevent you from doing certain activities is a new concept in our lexicon of foreign policy. and i think it's a dangerous one. announcing to the world as this resolution does that containment will never be our policy is unwise. it's a recipe for perpetual war. a country that vows to never contain an enemy is a country that vows to always preemptively attack. to rule out containment as a strategy or as a strategic and sometimes militarily active form of defense is to admit that we have become orwellian. yes, we have always been at war with east asian or -- arab, or yes --, asia or with eurasia. it's an idea we will be per
internettually at war. i'm proud of being for a strong national defense. i'm proud of being for protecting our country. but i cannot accept a resolution that says we will completely get rid of the containment strategy that really was a strategy that kept us safe for 60 years during the most aggressive and dangerous war we've ever encountered, the cold war. the soviet union had 30,000 intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the united states and attack us and devastate our country. if we would have had this concept that we rule out the idea of containment, we would have had an awful and devastating and maybe cass clinton-mitchellic war -- cataclysmic war with soviet union. iran is a two-bit dictator. they have trouble having supplies of food and gasoline for their people. but when north korea announced they had a nuclear weapon did we
immediately start dropping bombs? we contained north korea. and some would argue that the leadership of north korea is equally as irrational as the leadership of iran if not more so. so we are able to contain a two-bit socialist, very small and unproductive country like north korea, i see no reason why if we had to, we couldn't contain iran. i'm not promoting that as a philosophy. we shouldn't be telling iran we'll contain you. but for goodness' sakes we shouldn't be saying we will never contain you. the people who vote for this resolution i think are well meaning, but i don't think they're thinking this through. and we've had this before. when the resolution came up for the iraq war, many voted for it. and some came back later and say i voted for it before i voted against it. they wanted it both ways. many come up to me now and say i voted for the iraq war but it was a mistake. i voted for this concept of
offensive war, a preemptive war to stop iraq from having weapons of mass destruction but i made a mistake. i think the iraq war was a mistake. i wasn't here, but i would have voted no. i fear that we're pushing on, every month there has to be a new and more bellicose resolution to ensure that we will go to war and that at all costs we will go to war in iran. i think it's a mistake. i think there should be some strategic ambiguity meaning that you don't announce to your enemies exactly what you're going to do. you let them know firmly what your position is, but you don't announce to them your entire military strategy. to do so, to rule out a strategy that we had for 60 years that worked, that kept us in a very difficult and uneasy peace with the soviet union, does anybody here argue that we would have been much better if
containment would not have been a strategy, if we would have said absolutely to russia, if you do this, the bombs will drop tomorrow? that scares me. but what scares me more is that so many members of this body are just jumping up and down to embrace each other in the bipartisan desire that we will not have containment as a strategy, that we absolutely will go to war if we wake up and iran has nuclear weapons. you know what? the other day meyer dagan the former head of the mossad, said you can't bomb nuclear knowledge out of the psyche. nuclear knowledge, the knowledge to make nuclear weapons is out there now, and it's in iran and we'll not able to stop that knowledge, not be able to eradicate the knowledge of nuclear weapons. that's something to think about. because there may come a day -- and this is the prelude to the
next argument. the next argument we have on this floor will be one day when iran announces -- and i'm not for this. i think we should do everything. i voted for sanctions. i think we should do everything to prevent iran from having a nuclear weapon. but my goodness, this is a huge mistake. and it may be unpopular for me at home to say this but i will say this and say it loudly, to rule out any kind of defensive strategy that doesn't include an offensive war is a huge mistake for the country. and i will vigorously oppose this amendment and i hope those who have glommed onto this resolution so quickly because there is an incredible force behind this resolution, there's an incredible lobbying apparatus that says you've got to go onto this or else, i hope that we read this and reconsider, think about the double and triple amputees who have come home to your town, think about the soldiers who have committed
suicide. think about the hundreds of thousands of soldiers who are overseas now and ask yourself are we ready to send another 100,000 or 200,000 or 300,000 soldiers to iran? i'm not asking that we do nothing. we just beefed up the sangdz a couple of months -- sanctions a couple of months ago. but, you know, there are other things to do besides saying we will always have to go to war. for example, who does iran trade with? you know the reason why the sanctions probably won't ultimately work? because iran trades with china and russia and india and japan, and they're exempt from the sanctions. we say there are sanctions but then give them exemptions and they sell all their oil somewhere else. we really don't have the power to shut iran down through sanctions. if we were to convince somehow russia and china to be on our side, we could have leverage and i think iran would listen.
the sanctions have brought them back to the table, they are negotiating. i don't for one minute believe everything they say or think that they're trustworthy. but it's better than war to have negotiations, even with a fallible and perhaps deceitful partner sometimes. but it's still better than war. i think there is such an eagerness or such a lack of reluctance in this body to think through the issues of war, and that's how we get into this. we get into it because everybody wants to be stronger than the next guy, everybody wants to be more bellicose than the next guy. everybody wants to say nobody pushes us around and we're not going to take it. but there are other ways. there are other ways and we have to worry about and think about what ultimately are the repercussions. our soldiers are not inanimate clay that we put on this master board of chess, this geopolitical jess chairman
to -- chesapeake game to move -- chess game to move around. these are people in who live in the neighboring down. when i think about war and think about this resolution i don't think about ey black and white words on a page, i think about those young men and women and my commitment, my real and strong commitment that i'm not going to war without absolute provocation, without a threat to the national security, and for goodness sakes, without a debate debate over it. the other side may say say this doesn't say anything about war. but it says something -- some things are really unwise, that we would rule out an entire form of defense strategy we used for 60 years successfully to stay out of war. so i think it's a mistake to say that it's okay for iran to be a nuclear country and we will contain them but i think it's also a mistake to say we will never contain them. i have another amendment that's
coming up this evening, and this is an amendment to place limitations on foreign aid. for the last hour or two we've had a bit of the other side giving their response, and that's fine. you discover the truth by hearing the debate on both sides of this. but senator moynihan who used to serve up here and who is deceased, once said everybody has the right to their own opinion, but you don't have the right to make up your own set of facts. there was a senator here earlier and he said that guy from kentucky, he doesn't believe in a strong national defense, he would slash national defense so anybody against foreign aid is not for national defense. and this particular senator said he would gut national defense and cut it by 16%. that's sort of making up your facts and that's not fair. he's entitled to his opinion, but he's not entitled to make up the facts. i do have a budget that i put forward that balances the budget in five years.
i also have a priority within that budget that i think the most important thing that our government does and that the constitution mandates is a strong national defense. i think it's the most important thing we do in this country. and so in my budget i'm able to cut a significant amount of spending but i actually eliminate the military sequester. the military sequester was an automatic cut and i do it by cutting out other spending, real cuts in spending, in the same year to reduce the size of government but i don't have a 16% cut in military in one year. in fact, under the military sequester, i actually restore $50 billion that allows the first year not to have any cuts in military. now, do i think there should be some cuts in military? yes. but i make it a little bit easier on the cuts over time. and to say i'm proposing a 16% cut is just untrue.
now, others have said yeah, the military sequester is so horrible, and he's going to cut foreign aid and the country will be defenseless, and the hordes will be over here and we got to fight them over there. there's a certain irony to this because half of these people, these senators who are cater walling about this military sequester, they won't tell you they voted for the military sequester. i voted against the military sequester last year because i didn't think there was going to be enough cuts to really rescue us from this debt bomb that's ticking. but the people who voted for the sequester are up here accusing me of wanting to gut defense defense and all the military cawts and they voted for the military sequester. others have come to the floor and said if you don't pay people to be your friend, if you don't give people military -- if you don't give people foreign aid that you're wanting to withdraw from the world, that you're going to withdraw into a little, tiny shell, into a
closet and and lock yourself in a fortress and you're not going to engage the world. i think -- nothing could be farther from the truth. we don't give any foreign aid to england. have we withdrawn from england? we don't give foreign aid to anybody in europe. have we withdrawn from europe? we're incredibly connected with europe. we're incredibly connected with china, despite our differences. incredibly connected with china. we don't have to give foreign aid to be connected with the world. we should trade with the world. that's the connection. the more you're interconnected through trade the less likely you are to go to war. the other side also says that if we don't have foreign aid, we'll have war. well, my goodness. has anybody been paying attention? we've had two pretty big wars for a decade. we're involved in the longest war in the history of our country. i don't see any evidence that foreign aid is preventing war. now, some might say but foreign aid is humanitarian and we want
help poor people. i see zero evidence that foreign aid is helping poor people. it's helping rich people in poor countries. i went through an hour's worth of this earlier talking about how dictators are the consensus stealing the money in africa. africans live on an average of $2 a day. they did 30 years ago and they still do because foreign aid doesn't get to the people, it's stolen by the dictators. the other point to make about foreign aid is they're like my goodness if we don't have foreign aid we'll be fighting them on our shores. because we have foreign aid we have a great deal of antipathy. what they need to think through and nobody is thinking through is why are the arabs mad? why are they yelling and screamg and burning the american flag? and it makes me mad. that's one of the reasons i don't want to send them money, they're burning our flag. but why are they mad? they're mad because mubarak who was a dictator in egypt, do you
know what he did when the crowds formed? he hosed them down with tear gas made in pennsylvania bought with foreign aid. when the police came with trunchoens and beat the crap out of if you you were a protester in egypt, they did it with money from the united states. they're not mad at us because we're rich. they're not mad at us because we drive cars and have nice clothes and have music that they find distateful. they're really not even ultimately mad at us about that movie. they don't like it and i understand their sensibilities on that. but that's not ultimately why they're mad. you get really mad when you're hit over the head with a police truncheon paid for with foreign aid. so it's really exactly the opposite of what the other side says. the other side says, without foreign aid, we'll have more war. i say, because of the foreign aid, we have more war. there's no objective evidence, is there any objective evidence that we've had less war with
foreign aid? none, sneer row. there is a lot of -- none, zero. there is a lot of mone evidencee out of money, though. we're a trillion dollars in the hole. they know it, they pay lip service to it. and then come down and say, "oh, it's only $30 billion." but if you don't start someplace, where is it going to come from? foreign aid is a great place to start. these senators are disconnected from the public. if you talk to them -- and i defy any of them who are going to vote to continue foreign aid with no limitations, go home and ask your people. i'll bet you 90% of people at home -- routinely polls in the 70's -- are in favor of not sending money overseas, particularly if you say, "do you want to send money overseas to people who despise us? " do you want to send money to people overseas who are burning our flag? do you want to send money overseas to a country that has tortured a man that helped get bin laden, to a country that allowed bin laden to live within
its midst for six or seven years unmolested? to a country that's mad at us now because we got bin laden? to a country where a third of them probably would vote for bin laden for president? so i say, far from destabilizing the world, what would happen is, if we were to remove foreign a aid, we would remove the impetus to the arab spring becoming the arab winter. what i see is people recognizing that people are angry but i see no intelligent discussion about why they're angry. when people come to me and they say, oh, it's because you're rich and you're a wealthy country, that doesn't make any sense to me. many of these people actually in the arab spring really do want freedom, a freedom like our freedom. maybe a little different. it's a different culture and they believe in a different system of democracy than we do. but they still want some freedom. sow say, if they want freedom
and we have freedom, why -- so you say, if they want freedom and we have freedom, why wouldn't they admire our system? why aren't they sympathetic? why are they burning our people. why are 20,000, 30,000, 40,000, 50,000 people rallying and burning our flag? it's because too often or foreign aid has gone to support dictators who have oppressed their people. mubarak got $60 billion in egypt. his family is worth $20 billion, $30 billion, $40 billion -- some estimates of $50 billion. they repressed their people. you couldn't come into the street without being beaten over the head with a police baton or sprayed with tear gas made in pennsylvania. they were mad at mubarak, understandably so, and that anger is transferred to us. same with bin ali in tunisia. the same with hussein. you will remember, hussein was our ally before he was our enemy. in the iran-iraq war, you had american planes on both sides. we had military advisors supporting hussein against iran.
we had f-4 phantoms flying on iran's side that were left in there when we left. this goes back a long way. i remember being in high school and being perplexed -- why do the iranians hate us? why were they burning our flag? why were they burning our embassy and jumping up and down like a bunch of idiots burning our flag? why did they hate us so much? because we kept in power a man, mashaw, who they didn't like, who they despised and who was autocratic and had a very significant police force that didn't allow dissent. so, really, it's the opposite of what the other side argues for. the other side is arguing that without foreign aid, we'll have war. i'm arguing that because of foreign aid, we have war. because of foreign aid and because the misapplication of foreign aid and because of the theft of foreign aid and because foreign aid is given to people who repress their people, the arab spring, which has a healthy
element to it, has become the arab winter. if we don't understand that, we're never going to get beyond that. but we have to also go back to the specifics of what i'm asking for in this amendment. in this amendment, what i am asking for is that there simply be restrictions. i'm asking that to get our foreign aid, you have to act like an ally, you have to significantly and believably pledge to protect our embassy. and with libya's regard, you have to promise to turn over the people who assassinated our ambassador. i think that's the minimum of what we do. frankly, i think we probably shouldn't be sending it at all. i think this is a first step in the right direction to say, for goodness sakes, if we're going to send it to people, at least send it to people who are acting like your allies. so when you see the american flag being burned in public by tens of thousands of the hoard around our embassies around the
world, you ask yourself, do you want to send good money after bad to that country? do you really believe it's working? when you do, when you think about whether your money should go to african despots and dictators, you ask: is that money getting to poor people in africa or is foreign aid going to rich people in poor countries? mr. paul: that's the history of it. it's the history of repression. it's the history of human rights abuse. it's the history of theft. and more corruption than you can ever imagine. i will probably lose this vote but i've fought long and hard. i've fought for six weeks to get this vote and we're going to have this vote at midnight. people aren't too happy with me now but we're going to have the vote tonight at midnight. and i think it's an important vote. i think it's an important first step, whether we win or lose, because every senator who votes on this tonight will have to go home and they will have to engage their constituents and explain to their constituents
why -- why they're still willing to send money to countries that are burning the american flag. why they're still willing to send money to countries where there's ample evidence of corruption and theft, thievery. why they're still willing to send foreign aid to countries that are openly disdainful of us. do you know the president of afghanistan or senior advisors have said that if there's a war with pakistan between the united states and pakistan, they'll side with pakistan? pakistan senior advisors have said, if there's a war with eye remarks they'll side with iran -- with iran, they'll side with iran. these are the people we're sending billions of dollars to say, "please be our friends." they laugh at us. they snicker and turn away and say, "pools." "pool -- "fools." that's what they say to us. so i say what we need in this country is an american spring, an american spring where we wake up and say, look, to make our
country great again, to retain american greatness, we have to figure out how to grow at home. and i think that means leaving more money at home. and i hope the senate will consider this when they vet on thesvote onthese resolutions th. thank you, mr. president. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. the senator from iowa. mr. grassley: thank you, mr. president. wednesday the inspector general of the department of justice issued his report on a.t.f.'s operation disast furious. this -- fast and furious. this report is a significant milestone for the family of border patrol agent brian terry. he was killed in the firefight with illegal aliens who were armed with illegal guns for fast and furious. attorney general holder delayed any discipline for the officials responsible for fast and furious until after this report was released.
the time for accountability has come. there are no more excuses for inaction. the inspector general's athon nonpartisan review confirmed virtually everything i heard from whistle-blowers over the last year and a half. the justice department tried to push all the blame on the a.t.f. and officials down in phoenix, arizona. but the inspector general confirmed that senior officials in washington ignored red flag after red flag. senior officials in both the justice department and a.t.f. knew or should have known that operation fast and furious was putting guns into the hands of criminals. but they ignored the risk and failed to take steps to protect the public safety. the inspector general also confirmed that there were major
information-sharing failures between law enforcement agencies. we're still going through nearly 500-page report as well as 309 pages of new documents that the justice department produced late wednesday. however, i was surprised to learn from the report that attorney general holder testified that he doesn't remember the conversation with me about fast and furious in my office january 31, 2011. that's when i handed the first letters to the attorney general opening up the investigation of fast and furious. i happen to remember that conversation. my staff told the attorney general that day what whistle-blowers had told us. remember, whistle-blowers got involved in coming to congress because for months they were
sending reports up from phoenix to main justice that selling guns illegally -- or encouraging our gun dealers to sell guns illegally wasn't a very smart thing for our justice department to do. and that's -- and when they weren't listened to, that's why these whistle-blowers started coming to this senator. specifically, at that meeting with holder, we discussed that two weapons that the a.t.f. let go in fast and furious were found at the murder scene at border patrol agent terry. i emphasize that i was personally bringing it to his attention -- meaning the attorney general's attention -- because these were very serious and credible allegations, not just some run-of-the-mill letter that i send to departments generally. yet even after that meeting, the department didn't take this case
seriously. the inspector general's independent report says so explicitly -- quote -- "we do not believe that the gravity of this allegation was met with an equally serious effort by the department to determine whether a.t.f. and the u.s. attorney's office had allowed the sale of hundreds of weapons to straw purchasers." the justice department claimed that it -- its process for writing letters to congress was sound, but it's -- in its february 4, 2000, letter to me, that response was false. now, that letter came back only four or five days after i firsthanded the letter -- first handed the letter to the attorney general. now, that letter was false because d.o.j. later withdrew it and claimed it relied on bad information from the a.t.f. and
the u.s. attorney's office. however, the inspector general agreed with me that the justice department's response was seriously flawed. not just the initial response. the inspector general also found that the justice department knew its equally -- its initial reply wasn't true when it reaffirmed the denial of the whistle-blower allegations in may 2, 2000, letter to me. instead of acknowledging that it was wrong, the department repeatedly doubled down on its denials. for example, attorney general holder said on multiple occasions since november 2011 that the wiretap evidence authorized by the justice department headquarters did not put senior leadership on notice that the a.t.f. was walking
guns. most recently, on june the 7th of this year, the attorney general went before the house judiciary committee. at this point, many members of congress had obtained and read the affidavits, even though the justice department did not want us to see them. members who reviewed them said that the affidavits contained evidence of gun walking. but attorney general holder testified -- quote -- "i've looked at these affidavits. i've looked at these summaries. there's nothing in those affidavits, as i've reviewed them, that indicates gunwalking was allowed." well, now the inspector general has read these time wiretap affidavits, and the inspector
general since he is independent and he's nonpartisan, that independent nonpartisan conclusion is at odds with the quote i just gave you from the attorney general, and that quote from the attorney general comes from testimony before the other body. i quoted from this report -- i quote from this report -- quote -- "the affidavit describes specific instances that would suggest a.t.f. was employing a strategy of not interdicting weapons or arresting known straw purchases, end of -- quote -- ." in fact, much of the inspector general's report is redacted because those affidavits are still under seal. chairman issa -- and i asked the justice department months ago to
move to unseal them so that the public could decide for themselves. now the inspector general has joined congressman issa and this senator and is also calling for the department to ask for the permission of the court to release the affidavits. the justice department should have filed that motion months ago. unceiling the affidavits will allow -- unceiling the affidavits will now the american people and the terry family to see the whole story. the details of those affidavits show that senior officials knew or should have known about gun walking in fast and furious. the inspector general independently confirmed at this point quite contrary to the attorney general holder's denials. those denials by the attorney general show either incompetence or lack of truthfulness.
congress created an explicit statutory duty for certain senior justice department officials to authorize all wiretap applications, not just those involved in fast and furious. deputy assistant attorney general jason weinstein who served directly under general division head lanny brewer was one of the officials who approved some of these affidavits. senior officials like mr. wein stein tried to claim that they shouldn't be held accountable because they only read memos summarizeing the wiretaps, not the full wiretap applications, as i think is required under law. but the inspector general found that justice department officials should review more than just the cover memo. he said that under the statute,
they have the responsibility to be informed, fully informed before authorizing wiretap applications. yet, the inspector general also found that even if the -- -- quote -- "even a reader of the cover memorandum would infer from the facts that a.t.f. agents did not take enforcement action to interdict the weapons or arrest straw purchasers." end of quote. so the memo that mr. weinstein admits he did read indicated that a.t.f. had walked guns, according to the inspector general. back in september of last year, the attorney general holder said at a press conference -- quote -- "the notion that somehow or other this thing reaches the upper levels of the justice department is something that i
don't think is supported by the facts." end of quote. now, maybe the attorney general doesn't think someone who reports directly to the head of the criminal division is a senior official, but this senator does. as a result of the inspector general's findings, deputy assistant attorney general weinstein has resigned. mr. weinstein should be held accountable, but he shouldn't take the fall for more senior officials who are also culpable. mr. weinstein reported directly to assistant attorney general lanny brewer. when the justice department sent its letter to me denying a.t.f. ever walked guns, brewer knew otherwise. he knew in 2010 about gun walking in another case,
operation wide seaver. that was before the allegations of fast and furious. yet, he waited nine months before emails about wide receiver were about to be produced to congress before he publicly apologized for not doing more about gun walking in the previous gun-walking wide receiver. i asked brewer whether he has seen the draft of the february 4 false letter to me. brewer testified -- quote -- "i cannot say for sure whether i saw a draft of the letter that was sent to you." end of quote. i'm going to explain now why that was false statement that he made to me. a month after brewer's testimony, the justice department released more documents showing that brewer was sent five drafts of the letter before it was sent to me. he forwarded three of them to
his personal email account. brewer still maintained in written responses that it was highly unlikely -- highly unlikely is in quotes -- he had read the letter because he was in mexico when it was sent. on this matter, the inspector general report contained a significant factual error. by the way, there aren't many errors in this inspector general's report. i compliment him for a very good job that he did. the report read about whether brewer knew anything about this letter or not. quote -- "the o.i.g. found no email messages from brewer in which he proposed edits, commented on the drafts or otherwise indicated he had read them.
now, that statement of the inspector general is not true. in response to one of the drafts that brewer received, he commented to weinstein that it was quote -- unquote -- great work. that may not be a proposed edit, but it certainly is a comment. thus, brewer's statement to congress is simply not credible. emails show that brewer was very engaged in the process, asking for and receiving updates from weinstein at every stage of the drafting of that letter of february 4, 2011, that eight or nine months later they withdrew because it just was false. emails show that brewer was very engaged in the process, asking for and receiving updates from
weinstein at every stage of the drafting. brewer and weinstein sent multiple emails to each other on the matter each day, with brewer asking after a quiet period -- quote -- "jason, let me know what's happening with this." end of quote. so quite obviously, he was involved before the letter was ever sent to me. now, rather than holding him accountable for this evidence, the inspector general report gives him a pass. worse, new emails produced wednesday show that brewer was in the weeds about his deputy jason weinstein coming to the -- to brief senate judiciary committee staff a week after the justice department's false letter was sent to me, so this is on february 13, 2011.
brewer sent an email about such details as what specific questions my staff asked of weinstein at this briefing. brewer wrote -- quote -- "the goal and by all accounts it seems to have worked was to communicate that a.t.f.'s work in the arizona case and others like it reflected sound judgment and investigative work." end of quote. it is clear that brewer was in the weeds enough to know that the justice department was communicating to me, was undermined by the gun walking he knew about in wide receiver. he should have come forward in february, 2011, and told congress that he knew a.t.f. had, in fact, walked guns. his failure to do so, coupled with his attempt to mislead
congress, are why i have called for him to resign or be fired, and i made that request last fall on the floor of this senate. now the attorney general has been saying for months that he would hold off on any personnel action until the inspector general's report was released. we have been hearing that for almost a year. let the inspector general finish his work and then we will decide what to do. so, mr. attorney general, it's time to hold people accountable. i'd like to close with language from a statement that the family of border patrol agent brian terry issued, and that's the person where two guns that were walked were found at his murder scene. so from the family of brian terry -- quote -- "the department's failures chronicled
in the report had deadly and tragic consequences for hundreds of innocent american and mexican victims of violent crimes." continuing to quote -- "and our son, friend, relative and hero, brian terry, is dead. questions and concerns should have been raised before the weapons purchased in this failed government sting wound up in the hands of drug dealers and killers, including those who killed brian. the focus today should not be on political spin, the terry family says. i want to say that again. the focus today should not be on political spin control nor on praise for the department of justice supervisors who chose to resign in light of the report's findings, but rather on the gross negligence of the
department documented in the report and the tragic consequences of that negligent." end of quote. i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from iowa. mr. harkin: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that abby duggin, ann berry and nicki hurt of my staff be granted floor privileges for the duration of today's proceedings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. harkin: mr. president, our nation faces an absolutely fundamental choice in this year's election. are we going to rescue, restore and rebuild the middle class or are we going to continue to shift even more wealth and vans to those at the top at the expense of the middle class? as i have done every day that we have been in session here, i want to point out to the american people just what the
blueprint, the blueprint is for this country for the romney-ryan budget. that's their budget. the budget is a blueprint. where you want to go, what you want to do, how you want to build something, how you want to build the future of our country. that's the ryan budget. so i want to take a look again at the ryan budget and what it does for the future of this country. well, the very centerpiece, first of all, of the ryan budget is a whopping new tax break, new tax cuts, mostly for those at the top, the richest 2%. those making a million dollars or more a year would receive $265,000 a year in new tax cuts on top of the $129,000 that we get from extending the old bush tax cuts. that means now if you're in the top 2%, if you're making over a
million dollars a year, you get $394,000 in new tax cuts. and, you know, we keep hearing, mr. president, about mr. romney talking -- and ryan talking about entitlements, entitlements. we have got to cut back on entitlements, don't we? well, what about this? but they always talk about people that are lower income, that rely upon certain things like -- like nutrition assistance or job training programs, maybe pell grants for students for poor kids to go to college. they cut back on those. what about this entitlement? this is an entitlement. you're entitled to it. if you make over $1 million a year, you will be entitled to those tax cuts. you don't hear them talk about cutting back on that. they want to extend it. so how do they pay for all these
new tax cuts? the total is $4.5 trillion over ten years. they don't exactly say how, but the republican budget, that ryan budget would offset these tax cuts by making very deep and draconian cuts in programs that undergird the middle class, everything from education, student loans, grants, law enforcement, clean air, clean water, food safety, medical research, highways, bridges, other infrastructure. all cut in the ryan budget. and the ryan budget, as i will explain a little bit more in detail shortly, would end medicare. you'll hear a lot of people say it would end medicare as we know it. if it ends something as you know it, that means you end it. the ryan budget -- now the romney-ryan budget, since mr. romney called it marvelous,
the romney-ryan budget would end medicare and make it a voucher care, a voucher care system. that would force seniors to pay nearly $6,000 more per year out of their pocket for health care in the future. and lastly, they offset these tax cuts by raising taxes on the middle class, actually raising taxes on the middle class. mr. ryan's budget is to use the deficit crisis as a pretext for dismantling medicare, medicaid, cutting education, environmental protection agency, workplace safety and all the things i've said. what they do is they double down on the theory that if we just give more and more to those at the top, it will trickle down to everybody else. that theory was tried under
president george w. bush, and it didn't work out too well. today i just want to focus more on the devastating impact of the ryan-romney budget on medicare and on health care generally. since he first arrived in congress, representative ryan has consistently pushed a very specific and radical health care program to end medicare. under his proposal, seniors would no longer have the guaranteed medicare benefits they have enjoyed for decades. instead they would get a voucher from the federal government and they can go out and buy individual private insurance or medicare. now, again, they say you can buy medicare. they can stay in medicare if you want, or buy private insurance. let's take a look at that. in ten years the ryan plan would
eliminate medicare, shift to vouchers. but the vouchers would not be enough to cover the health care costs. so seniors out-of-pocket costs would go up. the nonpartisan congressional budget office has projected that the ryan proposal could increase annual out-of-pocket costs for seniors by more than $1,200 in 2030, almost $6,000 in 2050. and if you total up during all these years, you add one year after the other that seniors would have to pay, well, seniors retiring in 2023 over their lifetime would pay almost $60,000 more total. now for seniors retiring in 2030, it would be about $125,000. when you get up to 2050, a
senior retiring would be spending over $350,000 more over their retirement years just for health care. that's what voucher care means. in addition, the ryan plan would leave the traditional medicare system in a death spiral. now, mr. romney, mr. ryan, in extolling their budget, they say, well, you know, we'll give them a voucher. and if you want to, you can go out and buy traditional medicare or you can buy a private insurance plan. well, what does that mean? that means that if you're a very healthy senior, you might get a better deal by going out and buying a private insurance plan. so who stays in medicare? the poorest and the sickest. and then the medicare costs explode and it becomes unaffordable and you destroy the
whole medicare system. don't buy that argument that mr. ryan says you can stay in medicare if you want. no, it would destroy it. it would destroy it. so make no mistake, mr. president, the ryan plan is a radical, radical break -- a radical break with the past. this is not some little transition. this is not some little bit of experimentation or something. no, no. the ryan budget is a radical break with what we've had in the past. it turns a successful, reliable, comprehensive source of health care that seniors have depended on for decades, paid in to over years of hard work. they turn it into an unpredictable, unreliable voucher care system. now our approach is very different. president obama has fought to
strengthen medicare, not end it. he believes that medicare is a sacred compact, and he's proved that commitment by strengthening medicare in the affordable care act, or what we now know as obamacare. friends on the other side of the aisle have been saying obamacare as though it's pejorative, it's a bad connotation. i use it as a very good connotation, because i want to tell you, president obama does care. he cares about the fact that your kids can stay on a parents' policy until they're age 26. he does care that insurance companies can't put lifetime caps on sick people anymore. president obama does care that if you have a preexisting condition you can't be denied affordable health care insurance. so, yes, obama does care, and that's why i think obamacare really does describe it well:
obama cares. for example, in obamacare we eliminate gaps in coverage. that's the doughnut hole. we close the doughnut hole. reduce the cost of prescription drugs. according to medicare's actuaries -- not me, the actuaries -- the affordable care act extends the program solvency by eight years from 2016 to 2024, by getting rid of wasteful subsidies to insurance companies, getting rid of fraud, waste and abuse in the system. so our plan for medicare is simple. mend it, don't end it. and that's just what we do. the ryan plan is bad news for those who depend on medicare for their basic health care needs. it's disastrous. it's disastrous for people who depend on the medicaid program. the ryan budget would block
grant medicaid, put the entire program on to the states and then cut it by $810 billion over the next ten years. yes, that's right. the medicaid program, block grant to the state, cut it by $810 billion over the next ten years. so, what does medicaid do? medicare, seniors, you pay into the program. you have medicare when you retire. or if you become disabled, if you have paid in the requisite amount of money, you can get disability coverage or survivors' benefits. i'm talking about medicaid. health care for low-income americans and other populations. well, the medicaid program is something we instituted over half a century ago now to tell
all americans that they are going to be able to have quality health care. quality health care. you remember that debate, i remember watching one of the debates that the republicans were having in their presidential series. and a question was asked about, well, you know, we take care of sick people in our country, and where do they go? they go to the emergency room. it costs a lot more money, but the question was asked something about you just deny that? a lot of people were saying just let them die. leave them out on the street. is that the kind of country we want to be? that if you're sick and you don't have the wherewithal, you can't get health care? we moved beyond that. we've moved beyond that as a
society. the other population are americans with disabilities. almost one in every two americans, almost 50% of americans with disabilities depend on medicaid for access to health services and supports that span everything from hospital to home care. services from the medicaid program allow our citizens with disabilities to live with dignity and with purpose in their homes and in their communities. nearly three million seniors and people with disabilities use the medicaid program to avoid costly nursing home care. so if you cut home and community-based care for this group of americans, then they would have to turn to institutional care. so the short-term cuts, these
cuts that they're going to make in medicaid will lead to longer-term expenses because we know that institutional care is more expensive than care at home or in the community. well, i guess unless you just say to them, well, tough luck, you're on your own -- tough luck. you've got a disability, cut your medicaid, can't live at home, go live in an institution. the institutions are no longer there because we can't afford it, well then i guess you got to go out on the street and beg. is that what we want to see? like many third world countries where you see people with disabilities on the corners begging, families with a child with a disability out in the street begging. is that what we want to do? we want to walk down the street and see people who through no
fault of their own are disabled and they're out there begging with a tin cup and a tin plate. is that the kind of country we want to become. to dismantle the medicaid program as they would do under the ryan budget would dismantle, our commitment to quality atpoerbl health -- affordable hh care for all. the medicaid program is a lifeline to hundreds of thousands of middle-class families. yes, middle-class families. working families who have children with lifelong disabilities like down's syndrome or autism. instead of cutting these families off from a critical lifeline, we should be strengthening the long-term viability of this program. medicaid, reassuring these families that america is not going to turn its back on them when they need help the most.
and you know, you don't have to take my word for it about shredding this compact. i've said many times that we have a unique american social contract. contract, compact. that evolved, evolved over our march from a society in which we had child labor, which if you were older and poorer, you went to the county poor, where children died in infancy, where if you were disabled you were put in dark places. so we evolved. a social contract. we said basically in america we're going to provide a ladder of opportunity or a ramp of opportunity. we're going to make sure that we